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Arkansas

Supply chain in danger as truck drivers shortage continues

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Pine Bluff, Arkansas – The truck drivers shortage has been well known for years, but last year the gap between supply and demand increased and now the whole trucking industry is in danger.

The effect of truck drivers shortage will mostly feel normal people as end-up prices of goods and products will increase. If the situation doesn’t change soon, this is very likely scenario.

The Stallion Trucking Group said they have 14 empty trucks which isn’t usual for them.

“I like this because when you’re going down the road, as long as you make your deliveries and pick-ups on time there’s not really a lot of stress as far as driving,” truck driver, Greg Kelly said.

Greg Kelly showed what it’s like for him on a normal day.

“I’ve been with Stallion for 10 years,” Kelly said.

He loves his job and he will continue to work as a truck driver. According to him, the shortage came as a result of being too many openings across the nation and here in the natural state. Being in the industry for years, he has seen the shortage first hand.

“Truck drivers and would-be truck drivers have their pick of potential jobs and opportunities to peruse,” President of Arkansas Trucking Association, Shannon Newton said, “So we’re certainly feeling the negative impacts of that, exacerbating the shortage in this labor market.”

The latest data shows that 87% of Arkansas rely on trucks to deliver products.

“We say that truck driving is a lot like the electricity, the connector that gets goods from where they are to where you want them to be,” Newton said. “So as consumers we rely on trucking to get food to the grocery store or medicine to the pharmacy or a package to our front steps.”

People simply can’t realize how important trucking industry is in Arkansas.

“I just wish people would realize if it wasn’t for truck drivers you wouldn’t have anything,” Kelly said. “I mean we are responsible for your food, clothing, pretty much everything.”

Newton added that one of the biggest issues for trucking companies is that many people who were working for years are not retiring. But not many young people want to drive trucks as years ago. One of the reasons is very populated roads which was not the case in the past. Another one is rest areas because finding parking spot can be a nightmare.

As of now, people aged 21 and older are eligible to drive trucks. However, truck companies believe this policy will change soon letting drivers aged 18 or older to take tests for trucks. This might solve the shortage at least on a short term.

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