The driver shortage in produce transportation hasn’t hit its breaking point. If it had, produce loads would be left in warehouses and retailers would have to post signs telling consumers why items aren’t available.
It’s tempting to say the problem is simply an issue of supply and demand. But transportation industry experts say it’s more complicated and frustrating. And it’s not that different than the labor problem fruit and vegetable growers have, where there is more work than workers, but drivers are more regulated than farm workers.
Perhaps the biggest problem is the way both the produce industry and consumers view tractor trailers and their drivers.
“The driver shortage is a symptom of the problem, not the problem,” said Jennifer Morris, president of Two Roads Logistics in Toronto, ON. “The transportation industry is poorly managed. It’s often an afterthought or necessary evil.”