Truck driver shortage affecting stock and pricing of items in local stores

Massachusetts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – You may have noticed empty shelves inside stores and higher prices at the pump; this is largely due to a truck driver shortage.

It means we will continue to see high prices and empty shelves until this can problem can be solved. The trucking industry is short 80,000 drivers, a record high.

All State’s Transport Incorporated, a global trucking company headquartered in Springfield, says this a problem that is being felt by everyone. Almost every product from clothes to food to cars, are moved by trucks at some point before reaching consumers.

President of All States Transport Inc., Billy Kingston told 22News, “It just impacts us in ways that we never think about until now, when you go to the market and try and buy a box of cereal and it’s not there, now all of a sudden you realize they couldn’t get enough drivers to bring the product in.”

You’ve probably experienced those empty grocery store shelves. Retailers say it’s caused by an overall labor shortage, not just solely truck drivers.

In a statement to 22News, Stop and Shop said in part: “Stop & Shop is in close contact with our suppliers and is working diligently to keep high-demand products in stock. We are seeing some supply shortages because suppliers are experiencing labor challenges due to COVID-19.”

While the pandemic has slowed down manufacturing, adding to supply chain issues, the trucking industry has been in need of workers for years.

“It’s just gotten much worse now. There aren’t a lot of young people wanting to be long haul truck drivers anymore. It’s a major issues that we are all going to be feeling for quite a while”, said Kingston.

The city of Springfield is teaming up with Masshire to provide free Commercial Driver’s License Training to qualifying residents. Those interested can contact Masshire’s Springfield or Holyoke offices. The program will be open to Springfield residents whose household incomes are at or below 80 percent of area median income. Applicants must be unemployed or under-employed (working part-time), be legally eligible to work in the United States, and have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Those interested in obtaining more information and/or enrolling in the training program should contact MassHire at the contact info below.

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