Truck driver shortage, other troubles could push up prices for consumers
A shortage of truck drivers, ripple effects from an extraordinarily harsh winter, new federal trucking regulations, more items needing to be transported and higher fuel costs are why some companies are having a tough time getting their deliveries on time and at a reasonable price. With the U.S. economy turning around, the trucking pinch could get worse, experts said. Dependability is key in logistics, according to John Taylor, chair of Wayne State University’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management and associate professor of supply chain management. "You can plan a system as long as you know the transportation will be on time. If you know and it’s reliable, you can plan your system around it. Big problems arise when you have lack of reliability," he explained. "Consumers wind up paying more, because it takes more truckers, there’s less reliability, and there needs to be more inventory in the system — and inventory costs money. That means retailers, manufacturers wholesalers are carrying more goods in warehouses than they otherwise would, and that inventory costs money to hold."