ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — A nationwide truck driver shortage could have a ripple effect on everything from groceries to gas. MTC Truck Driver Training in Hazelwood said it’s down about 40 to 50% of its new students over the last year.
“Before this I was a dental technician for seven years so I came across the website online and I decided to give it a shot,” said Juan Romero, who just received his commercial driver’s license Wednesday.
There’s been a truck driver storage for years, but the continuing pandemic escalates the problem. “We actually had to shut down school and send people home in the middle of their training,” said Duane Boswell, vice president of operations for MTC.
That was part of the problem, Boswell said. He adds that a lot of older truck drivers also retired in 2002. Now there is growing concern the truck driver shortage could affect all of us at the gas pump.
“Right now the key is not the amount of fuel but getting the fuel to the right places. That’s where the truckers come in,” said Jeff Lenard with the National Association of Convenience Stores.
Just like any business, if demand for gas is up with more people on the road compared to 2020 but supply is down, gas prices could go up. Lenard warns there could be some gas stations that even struggle to get enough fuel.
“It’s a little early to say where an outage might occur or how long an outage might last,” said Lenard.
There is, however, a silver lining in all of this. “Talk about a great opportunity for somebody that feels like they are in a dead-end job right now. These jobs are now paying $60,000 to $70,000 right out of truck driving school and they’re probably going to keep going up as long as this shortage is there because the demand just keeps getting greater,” said Boswell.
News4 called Schnucks and Dierbergs asking whether the truck shortage has affected their stores. Schnucks said there has been no affect. News4 is still waiting to hear back from Dierbergs.
Lenard said the good news is that the increased demand in gas shows the economy is starting to improve.
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