JOPLIN, Mo. — Supply chain problems continue to plague many industries already, but some fear the problem could get even worse in the near future.
You may not guess by the number of trucks that roll through the four states each day, but a spokesman for the American Trucking Associations says the industry is 80,000 drivers short right now, an all-time high. The chief economist of that organization says Biden Administration vaccine mandates taking affect at the end of this month could make matters even worse.
“There’s no doubt it will have an impact on our company and our industry and I think the economy in general,” said Greg Orr, CFI President.
Greg Orr is the president of CFI, one of the biggest trucking companies in the Joplin Area.
“There’s no doubt we will see even more supply chain problems as we move forward, if they push the mandate and uh just knowing the challenges we’re seeing today, it’s definitely going to see a lot more pent up demand than we’ve had in the past three months,” said Greg Orr, CFI President.
Already some drivers, especially those close to retirement, may chose to leave the industry all together when the mandates take affect. In order to keep the drivers they already employ, and attract new ones, Orr says trucking companies will have no choice but to increase pay as well as other financial incentives.
In the long run, he says that added expense will eventually be passed onto consumers.
“It’s slowing it down, literally from start to finish,” said Derek Elliston, Delivery Truck Driver.
Derek Elliston delivers products throughout southwest Missouri says to get ready for round two of product shortages if the mandates go into place.
“There’s so much more that can come from it, it’s honestly unreal the possibilities that this could bring, as far as slow downs and just general shortages from everything,” said Elliston.