Pandemic and Supply Chain Problems Amplify Trucking Industry Woes | Economic news
With the holiday shopping season here, the nationwide truck driver shortage – which has been further magnified by global supply chain challenges and the ongoing pandemic – could mean online shoppers will want maybe click on the checkout button on their orders ASAP.
“We were spoiled before the pandemic to place an order today and receive it within 24 hours,” said Neal Kedzie, president of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association. “It’s not a reasonable expectation right now. I think we need to be more realistic about what we’re expecting.”
Like many industries in Wisconsin, the challenges of the trucking workforce were present long before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. However, many members of the aging trucking workforce – the average truck driver is 49 – have retired prematurely due to public health concerns, while the pandemic has also prevented new talent from emerging. enter the field due to the temporary closures of many business license schools, Kedzie said.
“In the back, we had drivers retiring, and in the front, we had a bottleneck created by the pandemic for new drivers entering the workforce,” he said. declared.
Supply chain challenges have further exacerbated the industry’s woes, with carriers unable to move products piling up in warehouses. To make matters worse, the industry is also facing a shortage of trucks in part due to the global shortage of microchips, which are a key component of commercial trucks.