IDAHO — Product shortages have been happening since the beginning of the pandemic, with various things causing them. One of the main reasons for current product shortages is a lack of truck drivers.
At Idaho CDL Training, they’re seeing an increase in students right now.
“We are very busy right now, after, post-COVID,” Harry Packwood, CEO of Idaho CDL Training said.
Idaho CDL Training helps students to get their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Packwood said a lot of people who were laid off during the pandemic are now working to become truck drivers, but those entering the workforce aren’t outnumbering those exiting.
“We have a lot of retirements and stuff happening, and more coming up with not enough applicants coming in to fill the need from the bottom to get into the trade,” He said.
According to a 2019 report from the American Truck Driving Associations, roughly 75% of new hires in the next decade will be replacing retiring drivers and 25 percent will be because of industry growth.
While the truck driver shortage is part of the problem causing limited products, it’s not just a Coronavirus problem. Numbers like these show the challenges facing the trucking industry that started long before the pandemic.
“It’s a situation that has been growing over the years. This is not COVID related, it’s not economy-related,” Allen Hodges, president of the Idaho Trucking Association said.
“There’s just so many factors, it’s hard to come up with a very accurate forecast, especially with things changing every day—you know it’s COVID—it’s resurging, who knows what impact that’s going to have,” said Dr. James Kroes, a supply chain management professor at Boise State University.
Companies are now changing the way they’re hiring truck drivers. They’re starting to pay for drivers to get their commercial driver’s license after hiring them.
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