It will sound very cliche' but it's very much the truth. The trucking industry is the backbone of the American economy. I would hazard to guess that out of the next 20 things you will touch with your hands 19 of those things that are now within arm's reach arrived there via a truck.

During the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, we grew to understand just how vital the trucking industry was to our nation. Now, that we are beginning to come out from under that pandemic we are realizing that our state and our nation is suffering from a very severe shortage of drivers.

Now, at first blush, that might not sound like a big deal to you. But refer back to all those items you use every day that arrived via truck. If those trucks don't have drivers, they won't roll. If they don't roll your favorite store isn't resupplied. If your favorite store isn't resupplied then we face shortages, hardships, and higher prices.

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The Louisiana Motor Transport Association is warning that this severe shortage of over the road operators could mean some very empty shelves for the holiday season. Especially when you consider that other elements of the shipping and transportation industry are facing shortages and backlogs too.

In fact, much of the backlog at the country's ports is because there are not enough trucks and drivers to transport those goods from the port to the marketplace. In fact, the LMTA says they have been made aware of fleet operators who only have enough drivers to operate only half of their trucks.

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The Louisiana Motor Transport Association is doing their part in the training and education of new operators. They are currently offering scholarships and stipends that prospective operators might use for CDL license fees. However, the LMTA notes that applications for Commercial Driver's Licenses dropped by nearly 100,000 in Louisiana alone.

On a personal level, what this driver shortage means to you is this. Now is the time to begin your Christmas and holiday shopping. Especially if you plan on wondering anything online. Ordering now could help you avoid a serious shipping and logistical nightmare that is forecast for the weeks leading up to Christmas.

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And hopefully, truck driver training will catch up to the demand for over-the-road operators and we can put this problem of the pandemic as well as the pandemic itself behind us in the very near future.

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