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The US Running Out of Qualified Truck Drivers; Seeks Services of Foreign Drivers To Eradicate The Shortage

TNI || New Delhi || 2nd Sept.

A severe shortage of truck drivers has hit the US so hard that the fleet managers are petitioning to let the foreign operators function in the country.

Bob Costello, who is the chief economist at American Trucking Association, says that driving trucks has always been a very taking kind of a job, but since the pandemic hit last year, the scarcity of drivers has deepened as the training schools have closed, and drivers have quit.

Besides, stricter drug and alcohol testing regulations have led to a whopping 60,000 job dismissals causing the worst driver shortfall ever.

It is now said that some small trucking companies want the US government to ease VISA regulations so that the dearth of drivers is taken care of.

Andrew Owens, chair of the board of Oregon Trucking Association, confirms that turning to foreign drivers has started to pick up steam, and he too is organizing a dozen trucking companies to meet federal lawmakers.

The idea is to expedite EB-3s. Jose Gomez-Urquiza, chief executive of Visa Solutions puts out an option to hire seasonal truck drivers on H-2B visas, wherein foreign workers are allowed to take up temporary jobs that are difficult to be filled up domestically.

The US Department of Transportation, however, says that they are actively engaged in increasing the availability of long-haul truck drivers who are qualified.