Attracting women to trucking workforce could help ease supply chain snags, experts say


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — We’re weeks away from gathering for Thanksgiving, and the Christmas holiday is soon after that. Anxiety is building already about the delivery of turkey dinner and gifts to put around the tree.

Supply chain snags are driving up rates to ship freight and the trucking industry is really feeling the pinch. At the Elite Trade Academy in Dallas, Texas — which has a national reputation for driver training — careful attention is paid to freight traffic along Interstates 81 and 70. The pandemic, they say, dramatically drove up industry costs. There is an opportunity for women, they say, who may have never considered a career behind the wheel of a big rig.

“One thing that we’re seeing right now is a lot of products not being able to be fulfilled at stores,” said Austin Carter with the Elite Trade Academy.

A way to address the driver shortage says Sierra Nicole at the Elite Trade Academy is taking into account that “women only make up about seven percent of the trucking industry right now and with so many drivers retiring and phasing out we really need to bring them in and show them that there is opportunity to have a good career in trucking.”

With congested ports and the shortage of truckers, stores are waiting three times as long for product deliveries than they were before the pandemic.

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