Trucker shortage may drive up Louisiana consumer prices

April 28, 2018 - 10:50 am

( - The nation faces a truck driver shortage, and that may hit your wallet. The American Trucking Association expects a 106,000 driver shortage by 2022. Louisiana Motor Transport Association Executive Director Chance McNeely says it’s causing longer delivery times and higher prices.

"Loads have to wait. It takes longer for goods to get to their location and yes, it drives up the cost of goods. It’s a major challenge for the industry,” said McNeely.

The industry is facing a unique problem in that as the economy expands, more shipping is needed, but McNeely says the number of drivers appears to be dropping, just as demand has begun increasing.

“You know at the end of the day our drivers are aging. I think the average age of our drivers is reaching around sixty years old and so it is going to get worse,” said McNeely.

Trucking doesn’t seem to have the same pull it used to. McNeely says average pay sits between 40,000 to 50,000, depending on the job, but one regulation in particular is keep young people from considering the industry.

“When you get out of high school, you’re 18, 19 years old but you can’t get your CDL until you’re 21. Since most people have chosen a career path by the time they hit 21,” said McNeely.

In an example of the problems caused by the driver shortage: Tyson Foods blamed the 200 million dollars in new costs that they’ve passed to retailers on the shipping industries struggles.

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