Trucking industry faces staffing challenges as supply chain issues continue

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Supply chain issues have become prominent across many industries.

“Since the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of pent-up demand, and now that things are easing with that, people are out buying, spending more on products,” Gaylen Haas, Instructor of Supply Chain Solutions at Fox Valley Technical College explained.

There’s been a major shift in how people are buying, “that requires a big change in manufacturing organizations, as far as how they produce, how they source,” Haas said.

It also requires a change in how products are delivered.

“There is a tremendous amount of freight that needs to be moved, and we just simply don’t have the drivers to do it,” Rob Behnke, Director of Truck Driving Programs at FVTC, said of the situation.

The shortage, sparking change within the industry,

“What can we do with the resources we have to satisfy the demand?” Behnke said.

When it comes to solutions, getting more truck drivers on the road could help make a difference.

“Right now, there’s an incredible need for drivers and so companies are reacting to that, with benefits packages, pay packages, home time packages, there’s just a number of things that the industry is doing to attract more drivers,” Behnke explained.

Those tactics are now common across many industries.

“As prices go up and wages go up, we have even more issues with people going from one organization to another organization to get higher wages,” Haas said.

With the holiday season approaching, experts say the issues are likely to persist, at least for the time being.

“The amount of time it takes us to get into a situation, for example, the pandemic, it’s probably going to take that same amount of time at least to get out of it, and we just need to be ready for that and prepared,” said Haas.

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