Local trucking company struggling with worker, truck shortages

Local News

(WKBN) — The pandemic has created many problems for different industries around the world.

One industry that’s currently being affected is the trucking industry.

Ron Myers co-owns Southwind Transportation in Austintown. For over 20 years, his company has transported general freight across the country. He says the past year and a half has been the toughest on his business, creating challenges he’s never experienced before.

“Right now, we’re experiencing the pandemic that created a lot of blockages and shortages and all kinds of messes. We have loads going out there. And waiting to pick them and rails been going crazy too trying to get loads going back and forth so it’s been a strange, strange year.” Myers said.

Worker and truck shortages are just two problems Myers is facing. Also, if loaders or customers feel COVID symptoms, they have to figure out a plan of action for COVID protocols. This caused multiple shipping delays, supply chain disruptions, and troubles for drivers logging hours.

“If they don’t have hours to finish their job, then we have to wait and do it again. it’s been a nightmare,” Myers said.

On top of all that, rising fuel prices are affecting the transportation industry as well, making it more expensive to move freight.

The national average for diesel fuel in the U.S. is about $3.30 per gallon. To fill a 200-gallon fuel tank would cost $660. Before the pandemic, the price was about $2.91 per gallon. The same 200-gallon tank would cost about $582 to fill, that’s an increase of $78 a tank.

“If you can imagine a lot of customers right now if they have a certain level of profit they’re at. What they’re going to charge the customer. And then all of a sudden here comes the fuel bill the fuel surcharge. They have to pass that off to the customer. Now, it costs so much for shippers to ship stuff and it just trickles right down to consumers,” Myers said.

Myers hopes COVID vaccines help reduce some issues in the trucking industry.

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