A couple weeks ago, I gave a ride to a guy in the trucking business — he was the Area VP of Operations of a large firm — and he told me that they can’t find drivers to handle just the local deliveries (stores, restaurants etc), never mind the long haul stuff. And this in an area where a driver gets a starting salary of $60,000 plus serious benefits, after company-sponsored training and licensing. As I recall, he said they need about 1,800 drivers, and so far had managed to get… 40 (forty).
That, folks, is a serious labor shortage, and his company isn’t the only one with this problem.
Shipping costs have skyrocketed in the United States in 2018, one of the clearest signs yet of a strong economy that might be starting to overheat. Higher transportation costs are beginning to cause prices of anything that spends time on a truck to rise. Amazon, for example, just implemented a 20 percent hike for its Prime program that delivers goods to customers in two days, and General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and Betty Crocker, said prices of some of its cereals and snacks are going up because of an “unprecedented” rise in freight costs. Tyson Foods, a large meat seller, and John Deere, a farm and construction equipment, also recently announced they will increase prices, blaming higher shipping costs.
And here, in a nutshell, is why the illegal immigrants keep flooding over the border. Business owners (not just truckers) are facing a series of rock/hard place situations, and foreign-born workers (mostly illegal) are in many cases the only solution. I don’t agree with what they’re doing in principle, but as a former employer myself, I can understand their actions. Stuff’s gotta move, and nobody’s interested in the “how”.