President Biden promises to keep truckers moving through driver shortage

The president held an event at the White House Monday to promote the Department of Transportation’s Trucking Action Plan.
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 7:57 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The White House calls trucking “a lynchpin” in moving goods through our supply chain. But, they say a driver shortage is causing disruptions.

The American Trucking Association says truckers move 72% of America’s goods, but an increase in trucking costs during the pandemic has led to a trucker shortage. Now, President Biden said he’s taking action to expand the industry.

“We adapt and adjust to just about any and everything that we do,” said Teddy Butler, a professional truck driver from Hampton, Georgia.

Butler said during the pandemic, drivers had to accommodate more door-to-door deliveries due to people staying at home. As a result of the change, the Federal Reserve said there was a more than 20% increase in trucking costs, which in turn led to a trucker shortage.

President Joe Biden said truckers keep America moving, and he wants more back on the road.

“2021 was the best year for trucking employment since 1994. There are now 35,000 more trucking jobs than there were before the pandemic.” The president said.

To try and remedy the shortage and other industry changes, the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Labor launched a Trucking Action Plan in December. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said that America needs at least 80,000 more truckers to ease supply chain issues and to deal with the shortage.

“When you have that kind of gap it can lead to upward pressure on prices,” Buttigieg said. “Part of how we’re fighting inflation is making sure we support the trucking workforce, close that gap, and get goods moving smoothly, swiftly, and affordably.”

The trucking plan has four parts, including reducing the amount of time it takes to get a commercial driver’s license and for companies to launch apprenticeship programs, and connecting veterans to trucking careers.

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