Truck driver shortage is a real issue for Northeast Ohio business that could soar prices

Supply Chain issues can cause a slow down of the economy and a truck driver shortage could be a trigger.
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 7:51 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Express Trucking has so far navigated the pandemic and they expect that they will navigate what began even before the pandemic; a shortage of truck drivers.

Gene Carson, the Vice President of Sales and Operations at Cleveland Express Trucking said the company has idle trailers sitting in the yard on Rockefeller Avenue, just south of downtown Cleveland.

“I’ve been in the industry about 40 years and I think this is as tough as it has ever been,” Carson said.

The industry, Carson said, has become more specialized but that is just one reason he believes that has led to a drop off in the number of people who are interested in going through the training necessary to drive a semi.

“Guys used to say my dad drove or my uncle drove and that is how I would get people but I don’t think the young people find this glamorous anymore,” he said.

Carson said business is booming. They made it through the pandemic and believe they will make it through a driver shortage but the days of a customer calling and asking them to move a product that day are over. At least for now.

“I am thankful, most of our customers, all of our customers stayed with us through that because they know what’s going on, it’s difficult without a doubt but we’re getting through it,” he said.

Cleveland Express has a 54 door terminal on their busy 7 acre property.

They are not a long haul trucking company, everyone who drives for Cleveland Express makes day trips, 500 miles maximum and each driver is home every night, but still they can’t find enough drivers. And these are not minimum wage jobs.

“I think if more people realized the kind of money that can be made, I think more people would get into it,” Carson said.

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