Trucking industry shortages impacting supply chain

(NBC) A crucial link in the supply chain is the trucking industry. But with a severe shortage of drivers and a lack of trucks, experts say it is facing the most challenging labor picture of all.

At Allstate Peterbilt of South St. paul Repair shop, an unprecedented 80 trucks are stuck, left to wait for parts from suppliers, scrambling during a global supply chain mess.

Tom Wentworth with Allstate Peterbilt said they can’t get the materials and they don’t have enough labor to build the parts that go on the trucks. So all those things are now happening like a perfect storm.

From a resin shortage to build roof caps, to vinyl to make seats. Even electrical components to keep a truck from shutting down.

A repair that would take less than a week is now months.

Some truckers losing at least $2,000 every day their rig isn’t on the road.

Wentworth said, “When things are good it’s a great business to be in and you can make great money, but when you’re down those expenses add up really fast.”

The challenges don’t end there. There’s a lack of new trucks to sell and a demand for technicians and drivers the country down some 60,000 of them. A longtime problem the pandemic made worse.

The demand for goods is in overdrive for the foreseeable future. Manufacturers are playing catchup since coming back online after the COVID-19 shutdown. The backlog is now set to even impact another holiday shopping season.

Wentworth said, “If you’re going to the store and seeing empty shelves there’s a good chance part of that problem is a truck trying to get that merchandise to you. Everybody needs to be understanding, there’s not much most of us can do about getting things faster.”

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