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Truck driver shortage worsens supply chain crisis

A nationwide truck driver shortage is adding pressure to an already struggling system.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A nationwide truck driver shortage is adding pressure to an already struggling system, worsening the supply chain crisis. 

With the majority of the nation's goods transported by truck, delays at ports are putting pressure on the system. 

Rick Todd, CEO of the South Carolina Trucking Association says the delays are being felt statewide.  

"Well, we're seeing it more messed up than we've ever seen it," Todd said.

"We don't have enough equipment, we don't have enough workers, and don't have enough truck drivers in general," Todd said. "It impacts the drivers' pay and company's profitability."

Couple that with a shortage of truckers to get those supplies to you, the system is in chaos, drivers now facing serious pick up delays.

"Often it's a line outside the gate, waiting in line on the interstate," Todd said. "That pent up demand and inability to get the stuff caused a surge and now we're seeing prices going up across the board."

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According to Todd, here's what happens. Ships arrive at the port, carrying goods. The cargo is unloaded and then it awaits pick up from a truck driver. That driver then has to get through traffic, with the chance they may have to make a stop at one of the railways to unload or pick up more cargo. From there, the goods head to a distribution center, and are then sent out.

Truck driver Todd Watson says wait times can sometimes be hours long. "I have been doing this for 34 years and you can definitely see a big change right now," Watson said.

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Todd said wait times, "Can vary from 30 minutes to five hours." He says more needs to be done to recruit new truckers, saying, "This is a dying industry right now, it really it is. There's only a few of us veteran truck drivers out here."

On the road for hours at time, his only wish is to make it home safely to his family. "To all my fellow truckers out here, just stay safe and make it home and let us all come as one."

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