Labor, trucking issues could create logistical challenges for input delivery

A study from the American Trucking Association says the industry is short nearly 80,000 truck drivers and a fertilizer supplier says that creates logistical challenges for delivery.

Paul Gerdes with CHS tells Brownfield the shortage creates a backup in the supply chain, and it could be difficult to transport inputs to farmers this spring. “Freight is going to continue to be an issue,” he says. “We see labor shortages.  We see trucking issues. Those of you who have storage – I’m talking retailers now – that can handle more of your needs, I would suggest get out ahead of this labor thing to make sure you have as much product on sight to get ahead of that.”

Gerdes says delivery issues will likely cause fertilizer prices to climb even higher this spring.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told House Ag Committee Members Thursday “we are certainly concerned about the lack of truck drivers, which is why we’re working with the Department of Labor and encouraged by their efforts to create and apprenticeship program and to speed up behind the wheel to work with states to issue CLD licenses as quickly as possible.”

The administration is implementing a 90-day action plan, placing an emphasis on training, and providing veterans, underrepresented communities, and apprentice drivers from 18 to 20 years old with trucking jobs.

Brownfield interviewed Gerdes during the Nebraska Soybean Association and Nebraska Corn joint lunch.