JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This week the National Tank Truck Carriers predicted possible gas shortages this summer. They say 25% of their trucks are idle due to a shortage in drivers.
Not only are their predictions that there could be shortages at the pumps this summer, but in several areas of the consumer industry. Across the country and here in Mississippi there is a great need for certified truckers.
Many area carriers have open positions. Some like KLLM in Richland say they’ve increased wages and that’s still not helping draw in applicants.
They’ve seen a fifty percent decrease in people applying for jobs and attendance at their driving school.
They expect the lack of drivers could cause a hiccup in the supply chain down the road, creating a shortage of food and other products. They believe many people are simply living off their stimulus checks and don’t want to work.
Jim Richards, President and C.E.O., said, “If this continues, I would tell you that I think you’re going to see several things. Number one, I think you’re going to see some shortages of certain items in the grocery stores. I also think you’re going to see increase pricing so you’re going to see freight rates going up because there’s not a lot of capacity out there so customers are having to pay more for those trucks.”
At CRW truck driver training in Jackson, they have actually seen an increase in people trying to get their CDL licenses. Attendance in their classes are up.
They believe as pay increases are offered for drivers they will begin to fill the gap of those empty seats behind the wheel.