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Long-Haul Drivers In Short Supply

ARLINGTON, Va. (UPI) — Mike Card the chairman of the American Trucking Associations, said long-haul drivers are in short supply despite a U.S. unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.

“It’s getting harder to get drivers. I could hire 50 guys right now,” said Card, who is also the president of Combined Transport of Central Point, Ore.

USA Today reported Monday that an annual salary of approximately $50,000 is not enticing many laid off factory or construction workers in part because of the six-week training costs, which run as high as $6,000.

With a shortage of drivers, some companies are reporting delayed delivery times and the turnover of drivers has jumped from 75 percent in 2011 to 90 percent among larger trucking firms, a four-year high, the association said.

In a another repercussion, despite the delays, high customer demand and a driver shortage has pushed freight rates 2 percent to 5 percent higher, said Benjamin Hartford, an industry analyst at R.W. Baird.

The government has also made finding drivers more difficult and contributed to higher prices.

The government began publicizing safety records among trucking firms, which forced some firms to seek out drivers with unblemished driving records, which contributed to the shortage. Meanwhile, anti-pollution standards have made trucks more expensive, USA Today reported.

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