Trucker shortage believed to be driving prices up - KMOV.com

Trucker shortage believed to be driving prices up

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A semi-truck at the St. Louis Community College-Forest Park (Credit: KMOV) A semi-truck at the St. Louis Community College-Forest Park (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Whether it’s in the stores or online, the country is seeing higher costs, and some think the driving force behind it is a truck driver shortage.

The shortage is so severe, the American Trucking Association (ATA) said 90,000 truck drivers must be hired per year to keep up with the demand.

“Demand is high, so a lot of carriers are increasing their pay and making a lot more in the first year,” said Seth Owens, lead trucking instructor at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.

Since demand is so high, the college trains some 200 students a year.

“It fits my lifestyle. I have no kids, I’m 33. It’s just me,” said Johnathan Hatcher, who is training to be a truck driver. “No wife. No nothing. There’s no need for me to be home.”

The ATA said this is a society problem. Shippers, consumers and retailers are paying the price, which could include a delay in deliveries.

“The profession is in high demand and even if it wasn’t in high demand you would kind of employment,” said Hatcher.  “Everything in the United States has to get delivered and transported.”

The ATA said there could be a few reasons driving the shortage, including aging demographics, lack of qualified applicants and the inability to attract younger workers.

In order to keep up with demand, the trucking industry would need to hire nearly 900,000 drivers through 2026.

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