“There’s a shortage of a little bit over 80,000:” Truck driver shortage, supply chain issues highlighted by pandemic

SALISBURY, Md. – We’ve been seeing shortages nationwide from the supply chain to worker shortages, this includes those signing up to sit behind the wheel of a truck.

“You know prior to the pandemic in about 2018 there was a shortage of about 60,000 truck drivers and now there’s a shortage of a little bit over 80,000 and I think that can be attributed to the way we shop now,” Kelly Carey, Director of Continuing Education Transportation, said.

The Director of Continuing Education of Transportation at Wor-Wic Community College said there are 2 million truck drivers that have licenses that aren’t driving. A big reason for this is the lifestyle that it brings.

“So, it has less to do with the amount of truck drivers that there actually is and more to do with the working conditions that truck drivers are subjected to that makes it an unattractive job,” Carey said.

And with supply chain issues highlighted by the pandemic, we’re told having a shortage of drivers isn’t making things easier.

“We all learned to shop from home during the pandemic, we no longer had to go to the big box stores to get what we needed and so that’s creating more of a supply chain thing where we need to get more truck drivers to move those goods,” Carey said.

Over at Wor-Wic, they’re working hard to try and get more drivers on the road with their CDL classes.

“What we are finding is that initially after the pandemic when we started back up in our CDL classes it was pretty slow, it has picked up tremendously, there’s a lot of people who are trying to get their license to drive truck which is a really good thing,” Carey said.

One student taking classes right now is Frank Parker. Parker said hearing about the shortages makes him feel valued.

“I feel pretty good, like I’m needed or wanted instead of just something that normal people do, it’s something that you’re kind of special that you’re needed more,” Parker said.

He hopes that more people can see how great this job can be so we can put the shortage issues in the review mirror.

“I hope they see more people doing and come see how easy it is if you really put your mind to it 35 to become a truck driver and the shortage will get a little better hopefully,” Parker said.

Categories: Local News, Maryland