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Local trucking experts weigh in on shortage

The national trucker shortage is creating employment opportunities, but also contributing to higher shipping fees for consumers.

According to the American Trucking Associations, the shortage of truck drivers across the country is already near 50,000, and that number is expected to grow.

Amazon recently increased the cost of its Prime membership by $20 dollars, and attributed the price hike in-part to the increase in shipping costs.

Lead instructor for the John Wood Truck Driver Training program Phil Steinkamp said a shortage of drivers isn’t the only factor in the increase…

"Other factors when we talk about the costs, fuel costs are a huge factor with shipping costs, the cost of new equipment, upgrading equipment, maintaining. The costs are continuously rising as they are in any industry."

Steinkamp added a the trucking industry as a whole is doing everything it can to help meet demand and attracting new drivers is a top priority.

"The lifestyle is improving the quality of life for the employees, companies realize that’s important and they’re doing a much better job than they were 20 years ago in trying to attract drivers," said Steinkamp.

Steinkamp added that aside from developments in new technology, it’s difficult to think the trucking industry alone will be able provide a solution to the expected increases in shipping demand in the years to come.

According to the American Truckers Association, over the next decade almost 900,000 more drivers will be needed.


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