Demand for truck drivers highlighted by pandemic’s disruption of supply chain

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DES MOINES, Iowa — We’ve seen how the pandemic has disrupted the supply chain. An ongoing trend on America’s roads, a shortage of truck drivers, is making it worse.

To put the shortage in perspective, the American Trucking Association says the industry needs to hire more than 60,000 drivers nationwide to meet the growing demand. 

DMACC’s Transportation Institute is hoping to help fill the need through its truck driving training program. Right now, DMACC has 17 students enrolled. 

“Well there’s a lot of stuff to move nationwide, and that never ends,” Director of the Transportation Institute Dave Pfiffner said. “So if the pandemic knocked say 100,000 drivers out on average per week, then that would be 100,000 less loads that the country could deliver every week. You can see where shortages could happen or supply chains could be affected.”

The American Trucking Association also says trucks move more than 70-percent of the nation’s freight by weight. Pfiffner points out there’s always been a need for more drivers, and the pandemic has highlighted that need.

“We have a growing economy and it requires a lot of freight to be moved around,” Pfiffner explains. “And also with all the online purchasing going on, there’s been a big surge in the need for delivery so that has an effect on it too.”

Because there’s high demand for drivers, Pfiffner says the pay and benefits packages are competitive and there’s a lot of flexibility and opportunity in this industry. 

If you’d like to learn more about enrolling in DMACC’s Transportation Institute, click here.

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