You may have noticed a trend in Magnetic the past month. ‘Shortage’ – the supply chain and market-busting term – has shown up 13 times in the past 8 newsletters.
And it’s not done yet. The issue this go-around? Truck drivers.
With trucking companies already reporting significantly fewer drivers than this time last year, the future doesn’t look very bright. The American Trucking Association is predicting a shortfall of over 100,000 drivers by 2023.
And this is where the rubber meets the road: Over 70% of all goods shipped across the country are carried…you guessed it…on a truck. And the shortage is concerning many producers.
The Golden State woes. With the carrot and onion harvests in Southern California coming in fast, seasonal trucker demand is up, and companies report that they have around 30% fewer drivers than needed.
But wait, there’s more. Driver demand will be going up as summer rolls around and the tomato and nut harvests kick into high gear.
Yet, with the trucker shortage, getting the product east-bound and down may prove tricky. And more ominous consequences could be on the horizon.
According to Joe Antonini, the top dog at a Stockton-based trucking company, “crop spoilage, waste, and crops not even being able to be harvested” are potential outcomes of the summer driver shortage.
What lies ahead: California growers are hoping for a weight-limit increase to help with transport (a little) this summer. But with amped-up demand, an aging driver pool, and a host of other issues, the problem isn’t likely to hit the road anytime soon.