Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg makes recruiting truck drivers a precedence as business reaches a breaking level

The Division of Transportation is pushing new measures to recruit extra truck drivers.  In accordance with the American Trucking Associations, the U.S. wants one other 80,000 truckers. 

About 72% of products transported within the U.S. are carried by truckers. However with excessive turnover charges and dwindling driver provide, the business has reached a breaking level. 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg informed CBS Information’ Errol Barnett that he has made recruiting drivers, protecting vehicles on the roads, and ensuring cabinets are stocked high priorities. 

“Oh, I am very involved about this, and it displays the truth that so long as we undergo part after part of this pandemic, we’re seeing disruptions in provide,” Buttigieg mentioned.  

Buttigieg spoke to CBS Information as his company introduced new efforts to bolster the variety of truckers as a part of the Biden administration’s pledge to repair the provision chain. 

The Division of Transportation introduced Thursday that it’s going to fund over $32 million for states to enhance the business driving license course of.  

Over 100 firms are committing to develop trucking apprenticeship applications and a activity drive to analyze predatory truck leasing. 

“We have to recruit extra folks into the job and we have to maintain them there,” Buttigieg mentioned. 

Drivers have been fleeing in droves—with yearly turnover hitting 90% in components of the trucking business. 

Mickey Weaver’s firm connects trucking candidates with employers. Not solely are there too few job seekers, however he additionally mentioned, as soon as they see how a lot time within the truck is unpaid, many stop. 

“I seen a man simply this morning. He’d been sitting up for 3 to 4 hours, simply sitting there, simply ready to get his truck loaded. And he is not making any cash,” Weaver mentioned. 

Patrick Penfield, a professor of provide chain observe at Syracuse College, mentioned he believes higher pay constructions would repair backlogs. 

“However till you try this, these poor truckers are sort of on the mercy of those ports in these different locations the place they’ve to attend,” he mentioned. 

Buttigieg mentioned that is one thought they’re finding out. 

“We have to take a look at these compensation points if we actually need to remedy long-term challenges in trucking within the U.S,” mentioned Buttigieg. 

The administration’s new effort contains two research of detention time — when truckers are usually not being paid however are nonetheless on the job. As a result of they’re solely paid by the mile, it pressures them to drive extra-long distances, to the purpose of exhaustion. 

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