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EMAILED ON April 27, 2018 BY Conor Grant

The truck driver shortage impacts everything from food prices to stock market performance 

As reported by USA Today, there’s a shortage of 51k truck drivers nationwide — which has driven shipping costs up by 6-10%, an increase that consumers will soon have to pay for.

As baby boomers retire and young people fail to take their spots at the wheel, the shortage is expected to grow to more than 100k drivers by 2021 — a problem even self-driving trucks won’t fix.

As drivers get more expensive, so do chicken nuggets 

The average truck driver is 49 — and despite increasing wages 10% in the past 18 months, shipping companies are struggling to recruit new workers to jobs that require up to 200 nights away from home per year.

But, producers paying for increased shipping costs won’t be able to do so for much longer. 

Tyson Foods — the country’s biggest chicken distributor and the geniuses behind Any’tizers — say they’re going to have to increase the cost of your favorite frozen tenders to offset the $200m increase in cost. 

The entire economy takes a hit with no one in the driver seat

When costs increase across the shipping sector, the whole economy — which is increasingly reliant upon e-commerce Goliaths like Amazon — will be affected.

Although investment in driverless trucks accelerated last year — hitting more than $1B — the leaders of the pack (Uber and Google’s Waymo) are still in the fledgling phases of testing their rigs.

So, even if Uber hits its optimistic target of getting 1.5m self-driving trucks on the road by 2028, the cost of immediate last-mile deliveries — which has already increased 30-80% over the last year — will continue to climb.

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