RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It could be months before supply chain issues plaguing industries across the country are resolved.
That word came Thursday from North Carolina’s top trucking advocate. Crystal Collins, president of the North Carolina Trucking Association, blames problems throughout the supply chain as the source of ongoing issues that have led to product delays and, in some cases, empty shelves.
“It’s not just the trucking industry with a workforce shortage. It’s the nation’s workforce shortage that’s really impeding the supply chain,” said Collins.
Collins told CBS17 the industry is short about 80,000 drivers nationwide – and that hiring workers will take time – but even then, the problems persist in so many places, getting the supply chain back fully functioning will take time.
“I don’t really see all this working all the way through where we’re at a norm, for months,” Collins said.
The problems are clear each day for Bobby Ayscue, owner of Raleigh-based trucking company Oak City Logistics.
“It’s stressful,” he told CBS 17, Sean Cudahy.
Ayscue said the problems his drivers face boil down to three issues: not enough trucks – new or used, not enough drivers, and not enough workers at the warehouses, ports, and other facilities his drivers visit.
“A lot of these warehouses they’re going to – they just don’t have the manpower to load these trucks in a timely manner,” Ayscue said, sharing his frustration that even when he can find trucks and staff drivers, they often sit for hours waiting on loading and unloading – further delaying products.
“You’re doing everything you can for your drivers and you just don’t feel like you’re doing enough,” he said.
Collins said the industry is working to recruit new drivers, but added, staffing in the trucking industry is just one piece of the supply chain puzzle.
“It’s not in the near foreseeable future,” she said of the timeframe for a full fix. “It’s going to take time.”