U.S. Xpress Enterprises: Shortage of Truck Drivers Causing Supply Chain Issues

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF): President & CEO of U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc Eric Fuller says, “Truck driving is the largest single job in the U.S., but we have about 100 to 150 thousand less drivers less drivers that we actually need.”

Fuller says the shortage of truck drivers has intensified partly due to the pandemic.

“The job admittingly is not the most desirable job. Drivers are living in a truck. They’re often away from their families from 3 to 4 weeks at a time.”

Fuller continues, “Now with the pandemic, you’re finding I think people have changed a little bit of their mindset when in the past, someone might have been willing to take a fifteen or twenty percent premium pay to take a job that was less desirable.”

He explains the job does not attract a lot of new employees.

And, the trucker industry as a whole will have to find the solution in order to change the job.

“People want to be home more often, and their valuing more that family life, and that’s making truck driving a much less desirable job than what we saw previously.”

“We have raised our pay by nearly 30-35 percent over the last 12 months. We are also paying sign on bonuses, so we’re paying $2500 sign on bonuses to even show up the first day. And, those aren’t necessarily moving the needle,” explains Fuller.

Even with increased wages and incentives, it hasn’t been enough.

“If we don’t have enough trucks or drivers to meet the overall demand of volume that the shippers need to really put product on the shelves, then we slow down the supply chain and we’re not able to put enough product in the stores.”

Fuller says there’s also delays in manufacturing plants and at ports due to a lack of shipping containers.

Add in a shortage of truck drivers, he says there could be serious supply chain issues.

U.S. Xpress Inc is hiring.

Categories: Business, Chattanooga, Local News