Shortage of truckers leaves local businesses low on stock

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Trucking companies are hiring all over the United States, and because of the shortage of CDL drivers, you may not get items you want from stores on time.

Truckers are responsible for transporting most of what you purchase.

From the raw materials to the final products, commercial vehicles are the main transportation for furniture, gasoline, food and most everything.

But, right now, there are not enough truck drivers to transport those goods and materials quickly.

Chris Fulkerson is the operations manager at Taz Trucking in Bowling Green.

Fulkerson said there are several reasons for the shortage.

Several trucking companies closed during the pandemic and new drug testing are partially to blame.

“Forty thousand drivers, about 1% of the driving force were disqualified from driving because, typically, of marijuana use. Also with the increased unemployment payments, there have been a lot of drivers that have found that they could make more being at home than they could be on the road,” said Fulkerson.

Pierce Ford, with Ford’s Furniture in Bowling Green, said the store is feeling the effects of the shortage through the supply chain saying they see major delays in delivering furniture.

In fact, he said the company is seeing wait times for delivery extending up to nine times as long as before the pandemic.

“Everybody is backed up, vendors, manufacturers, the logistics companies, all the transportation. It’s just crazy. Nobody has seen anything like this, never experienced anything like it before so everybody is trying to play catch up and trying to do the best they can. The trucking companies are frustrated because they can’t get drivers and they are trying to tell people when they are going to get merchandise but it’s a guess,” said Ford.

Ford said they currently have the lowest inventory in stock they have ever had.

Fulkerson said truckers can make around $60,000-$70,000 in their first year and says the industry is a great option for those who just graduated high school or empty nesters.

Fulkerson also said he expects the decline in truckers to continue being an issue for the next year or two before it levels out.