Shortages of trucks and drivers are delaying some deliveries of products and raw materials across the USA and raising freight costs.
The crunch is defying a tepid recovery and near-10% jobless rate that should supply a vast pool of unemployed construction and manufacturing workers. Shortages are likely to worsen when the economy heats up and new rules kick in later this year that will make it tougher to hire drivers with poor safety records and could limit the number of hours drivers can work, experts say.
“What’s going to happen in six, 12, 18 months?” says Jon Langenfeld of research firm R.W. Baird.
Since June, PPG Industries (PPG), a top glass and coatings maker, occasionally hasn't been able to find trucks to transport glass from its factories to window fabricators, delaying deliveries a day or two. “If nothing arrives … it can shut a plant down,” says PPG supply chain manager Jeffrey Smith.
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