The trucking industry has been getting a lot of hits for a few years now—a majority of those hits are not very good. Whenever there is an issue in an industry that provides a critical service, it is only right that the everyday consumer should be concerned.
The CDL Driver Problem
If you are not familiar with what we are speaking of, now would be a good time to brush up on it. For the past ten years or so, there has been a massive lack in the number of drivers who take up flatbed truck driving job. There has also been a severe lack in those who are interested in learning to drive a semi truck.
Basically, we need truckers and we aren’t getting them. There are people that say that the trucking shortage is primarily caused by the truckers themselves. There are those that say it is the trucking firms that cause the issue. Regardless of what the source is, the industry is in desperate need of drivers.
Why Should You Care?
A common feedback that we have heard regarding this issue is this: “isn’t this a problem for businesses and not everyday consumers”? While this may seem like sound logic, it really isn’t. Today, we have rounded up some reasons as to why you, an everyday consumer, should care about the trucking shortage.
1) Less Deliveries = Less Supplies
In your everyday drive or commute, you have probably come across a fair amount of truck on the road. They are normally headed to their point of delivery or headed to a manufacturer to obtain more products for deliveries. Truck drivers are used to get products from point A to point B. These products range from a variety of industries from fashion to agriculture.
So if there are not enough people to sufficiently deliver products on a daily basis, consumers everywhere can soon expect insufficient supplies in every sector. While on the luxury side of things, you can probably live without getting the latest in the releases from fashion brands. However, other more important inventories will have more drastic impact. You can walk into your trusted grocery store and find that there isn’t enough stock to go around for everyone.
In certain establishments, constant supply of stock for their inventory is absolutely critical. The medical sector—hospitals, clinics, and other sources of medicine—cannot afford to ever be low in their supply.
2) Prices Are Driven Up
This is directly related to the first reason above. If there are not enough to go around, it is inevitable that prices will go up. This is to compensate for the fact that businesses are not selling enough of the product that they are peddling.
The rule of economics state that if something is in demand yet supply is low, the cost goes up. The normal alternative would be to produce more of the product in order to disburse the cost of production. If there was enough stock to realistically compensate for the lessened price, then that would be an ideal situation. As this is not the case with the shortage of truck drivers, the everyday consumer will eventually feel the sting of the increased prices of basic commodities AND luxury goods.
If you’re still wondering how this affects the everyday consumer, let’s put it this way. If the trucking industry continues to not get the people that they need, you should expect everyday needs to put around an additional $10 or even double that on top of what you are already paying.
3) The Economy Weakens
Whenever there is a lack in an employment market, it creates a ripple effect that ultimately shows up in the country’s economy. When jobs are not taken, less tax go toward the government. This means that there will be less funding for a variety of government projects that should boost the quality of living for its citizens.
When the economy takes a dive, it affects everyone’s quality of living. The currency that you are using will suddenly not be able to buy as much as it used to. When a country’s money is weak, you can pretty much expect everything else to feel it. Jobs won’t be as available, prices will always be a bit out of reach, and everyday commodities will feel like absolute luxuries. If you are wondering how the trucking issue relates to this, a whopping 70% of all freight, product, and stock is moved through trucks.
If there are not enough trucks and if it continues to dwindle (which it is), you can fully expect the economy’s strength follow that path shortly after.
The ongoing truck driver shortage not only affects the drivers in the industry. It affects pretty much everyone. The truck driving profession is the backbone of a lot of businesses and establishments like hospitals. The trucking industry was one of the strongest industries that offered competitive pay, job stability, and even flexible schedules for workers.
It does come off as quite strange that such an industry is suffering from a shortage. While the rest of the world seems to be preoccupied with finding ways to automate a majority of things, the trucking industry is one that relies on actual labor for good reason. Our technology is not yet capable of providing smarter solutions to give ample alternatives to using actual people for trucking jobs. They aren’t intuitive enough to address real-time problems as well.
What we all need to do is to bring this shortage to the forefront of everyone’s consciousness. We need to provide ample support for those that are still in the trucking industry. We also need to write to our representatives to get to the root of the problem. Is the shortage because of insufficient pay? What else can the trucking companies do to provide a good incentive for people to become commercial truck drivers?
This is a problem that needs all of us in order to come to a proper solution. Wouldn’t you agree?