Big red semi truck shiny and wet from the rain with the reflection of light with a long distance measuring trailer with dust rain under the wheels and reflection of headlights on a wet road passing by green trees.

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Truck Driver Shortage Could Lead to Higher Prices

May 30, 2018 - 8:11 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - You may not realize it, but there's a drastic shortage of truck drivers in America right now.

Steve Overstreet's business card says "Without Truck Drivers, America Stops" exclamation point, and as a recruiter for MTC truck driver training school in north St. Louis County he knows firsthand about the growing need for more truckers.

“The industry is desperately short for drivers. In fact, I just saw a new statistic last week, there will be a need for 90,000 drivers per year for the next five years,” he says.

Low pay plus long days, even weeks away from home, are cited as the biggest reasons for the driver shortage.

Desperate trucking companies are countering by increasing incentives, offering signing bonuses and lowering qualifications to try and fill empty semi cabs nation-wide. Overstreet says this could drive the price of goods up.

There are reports that more than 50,000 drivers are needed to fill demand from companies like Walmart and Amazon, which are shipping more goods than ever.