LENEXA, Kan. — Industries focused on logistics and trucking are looking at hiring to address supply chain issues, especially ahead of the holidays.
Officials with UPS said they're preparing for an increase in package volume for the holiday season.
"We have driver helper positions where a person can ride with a package car driver and help them deliver packages. We also have personal vehicle delivery drivers where you can deliver out of own car," Amy Wilson with UPS said. "We also have seasonal package car drivers, seasonal tractor trailer drivers. We even have a few part time supervisor positions available."
UPS said they're looking to hire more than 1,500 seasonal employees in the Kansas City area. Nationwide, the company expects to hire 100,000 seasonal employees.
Wilson said the company is getting ready for the busy season through hiring, and consumers should make their own preparations.
"Due to the supply chain slow down, we really don't have any control outside of our network. Once it reaches our network, we'll get it to you on time the best we can, but I would definitely be mindful of starting your shopping right now," Wilson said.
The pandemic caused a slow down in supply chain that has yet pick back up.
The need to move cargo has revealed the need for truck drivers.
According to the American Trucking Associations, a trade association for trucking, the driver shortage is about 80,000 in 2021. The association reported the shortage could double to 160,000 by 2030.
Reasons for the truck driver shortage vary, from lifestyle issues and retirement to lack of training, according to the association.
"What a company would have had to do over the last six to nine months is they've had to order and preorder products way in advance because they know it's going to take a month to 2 months to get it overseas and then it's sitting in a warehouse waiting for a driver to take to it to it's final destination or to the local store to be delivered," Josh Smith with Johnson County Community College said.
JCCC offers a truck driver training program to address the need.
"We're trying to do our part by preparing entry level drivers to be safe and to be able to operate a truck, a tractor-trailer combination, for whatever the jobs might be. If it's construction, if it's hazardous materials, if it's fuel to our local fueling stations just keep American moving," Smith explained.
Smith said there's been an increase in people signing up for classes. The school offers seven weekday classes and nine weekend classes.
Daniel Simmons is one student training in the program who said the need for drivers, and his interest in a new career, created a good match.
"Coming out of Covid, I was looking for a new career path, something to do to take care of my family really well," Simmons said.
The need for truck drivers benefits Simmons, who said he had an interview with one trucking company before he got into the program.
"That's actually comforting to know I can focus fully on my skills and learning how to drive the truck, not worried about if I can get passed this will I have to search for a job or anything. So that brings a little bit of security," Simmons said.