Shipping Companies Struggle to Find Truck Drivers to Ease Port Backlogs

Shipping companies across the nation on Monday are reportedly struggling to find truck drivers to ease port backlogs on the east and west coasts.

Old Dominion Freight Line will reportedly hire any driver with or without experience, KHQ NBC reported Sunday. The need is so great, Old Dominion held a job fair Saturday to “hire 10 line drivers who can haul several trailers across the state” while offering to train anyone who wishes to earn a C.D.L. license.

Michael Deneen with Old Dominion told KHQ the pandemic has made finding truck drivers more difficult due to the unemployment checks that drivers may be receiving from Democrat-controlled states. Deneen also thinks the labor shortage will carry over and impact the 2021 holiday season and beyond.“Christmas is going to be, this year is going to be impacted greatly by not just trucking but through the whole logistic network is a little bit out of whack,” Deneen said. “So buy early, we’re going to work ourselves out of it but it’s going to be a couple of years of going through this new normal right now.”

Co-head of AlixPartners’ retail consulting practice, Joel Bines, told the Financial Times Sunday retailers will have difficulty securing the “most in-demand” items this year for Christmas because of the supply chain crisis.

“There will definitely be weeping children this holiday season,” Bines explained. “Black Friday doesn’t exist; the holiday season doesn’t exist, not as it used to,” he said about the change in supply chains that has forced stores to expand the holiday season. “It’s essentially October 1 to January 15.”

The shortage of truck drivers will not just impact Christmas. Shipping ports are also experiencing a backlog of containers because trucking companies cannot find labor to move them.

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