What is the Current Truck Driver Shortage?
The truck driver shortage represents an ongoing challenge in the transportation industry. With over 3 million professional drivers in the United States, this critical labor force is essential for transporting goods across the country. Unfortunately, current supply chain disruptions are being fueled by an unexpected source - marijuana positives.
Recent statistics show that over half of all drug tests administered to new hires come back positive for marijuana use. This poses a major challenge to carriers who must comply with federal regulations and deliver their goods in a timely manner. Furthermore, many states have legalized marijuana use which has led to a higher number of positives among qualified drivers. Companies must now weigh the risks associated with hiring candidates who have recently consumed cannabis against meeting tight delivery deadlines and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Marijuana legalization has been a controversial topic for years, but as more states legalize its use, the implications for supply chains and those within them become increasingly clearer. A recent article in a credible trucking magazine links these changes to the truck driver shortage. With marijuana becoming legal in many states, an untapped labor pool of potential drivers is now available, potentially helping to alleviate this issue. But there are other effects that come with this change—not all of which are immediately apparent.
Transportation companies are exploring all-new ways to benefit from the ever-changing landscape of marijuana legalization. For one, the truck driver shortage and supply chain disruptions in the transportation industry in the coming years could be improved by allowing individuals who consume marijuana recreationally to become employed as truck drivers.
It has been widely reported that there is a major shortage of truck drivers and this gap is causing significant problems for many industries.
The rising demand for goods being transported can only be met if more qualified drivers enter the workforce, yet many potential candidates are disqualified due to their non-compliance with federal regulations and drug policies which prohibit any consumption of controlled substances. As marijuana laws differ from state to state, it's essential that transportation companies research various options available in order to fill these necessary roles.
Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level and truck drivers are held to a higher standard due to their CDL licenses. As such, any potential driver with a positive drug test must be eliminated from consideration, which decreases the already limited pool of qualified candidates even further. Additionally, states that have legalized marijuana still require employers to conduct drug testing and adhere to federal regulations.