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Companies offering truck drivers signing bonuses of up to $50K due to driver shortage

Driver shortage could mean higher food costs
Posted: 6:25 PM, Apr 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-27 23:27:21Z

Have you noticed your favorite foods or products at the grocery store have gone up in price? It could be because a shortage of truck drivers is driving shipping prices up.

Currently 50,000 truck drivers are needed to help ship your favorite everyday products across the country. Quincy Jones is the director at Sage Truck Driving School and says there are a few reasons why people aren’t becoming drivers.

“Part of the reason is because the average truck driver is 55 years old and with the shortage of millennials coming in," Jones said.

With drivers retiring and young people choosing four-year degrees, it's affecting deliveries. Companies like Coke, Hershey’s and General Mills have all said they have to pay more to get their items shipped to stores, which means wallets take a hit.

"I think ecommerce has a lot to do with it — just with the demand of everybody having to order stuff to have it delivered to their houses instead of actually going out and shopping for it,” Jones said.

Being a truck driver can be a lucrative job right out of the gate, and it only takes four weeks of training. That’s one of the reason Sage student Miguel decided to sign up.

“The money is really good, especially in this field — and I mean it’s just a lot to offer, benefits and money,” Miguel said.

With a shortage of drivers, some companies are offering big signing bonuses for those considering driving. Solo drivers could receive a $15,000 signing bonus, and team drivers could receive up to $50,000.

Jones believes more people would become drivers if they could afford the training.

“With increased funding from the government helping with these new students through and getting them into the industry I think that’s a possible way,” he said.

Even though Miguel is sacrificing a lot starting this career, he knows it’s beneficial to everyone.

“It’s a full cycle. I get to provide for my family to provide for you guys. It’s a good turn around," Miguel said.