The nationwide truck driver shortage continues to cause disruptions in the supply chain.
Demand remains high for quality truckers. Nationwide, the industry needs 80,000 new semi-truck drivers, and that number is rising. John Esparza, with the Texas Trucking Association, says the shortage isn't likely to resolve itself anytime soon.
“The challenge has been the attraction of the job,” Esparza said. “We are working to communicate what good jobs you have in this industry that I think heretofore wasn’t really a focus.”
He adds that in Texas, truckers are staying busy, which is usually a good indicator that the local economy is strong.
“You’re talking about the moving industry, you’re talking about the oil field industry, you’re talking about the intermodal industry. There are so many facets of trucking,” Esparza explained. “So, we’re a fantastic economic indicator.”
A new test program by the federal government is allowing 18 to 20-year-olds behind the wheel to drive from state to state. However, Esparza doesn't think the additional young drivers will come close to meeting the huge demand. He anticipates the trucking shortage will remain an issue through 2022.