Truck driver shortage is the biggest threat to Georgia’s economy
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Lawmakers feel that a truck driver shortage is the largest threat to Georgia’s growing economy.
The truck driver shortage felt across the nation is impacting companies here in Georgia. Data shows there are roughly 25,000 vacant driver positions.
Roughly 40% of the goods and services in Georgia are delivered by truck.
Nikolay Osadchiy with Goizueta Business School said a shortage of drivers can cause delays, drive up prices and create shortages in stores.
“If things progress as they are, we’re going to have more delays and the price of things is going to get higher,” said Osadchiy.
Lewis Collum with Taylor Trucking said he’s having a hard time finding drivers. Not enough people want to work in the field.
“Everybody wants everything when they want it and it all comes to them on a truck,” said Collum.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King blames the shortage on Georgia’s insurance direction action law. He said Georgia is one of four states where similar legislation can make drivers a bigger target for lawsuits.
“There is no trucking industry in Georgia if we can’t find affordable insurance,” he said.
He said the law is driving up premiums, making it hard for trucking companies to stay in business. Georgia has the highest premiums in the Southeast.
Drivers, lawmakers, and the commissioner are holding meetings before the next legislative session to come up with solutions. Some of the suggestions during Wednesday’s meeting included increasing funding for recruiting younger drivers, lowering requirements for licensing, and changing insurance laws.
These meetings will continue until January. Senate Majority Leader Steven Gooch said addressing the shortage is his top priority next session.
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