US turns to South Africa to ease driver shortage

US companies are now looking into hiring long-distance drivers from South Africa to help with a shortage in the haulage industry.

As they speak English it is thought they would have an easier time getting licences.

The US has had a shortage of lorry drivers for the last couple of years and, in an industry that was already struggling with worker retention, the pandemic has caused an even worse problem.

During lockdown, many people took to online shopping so orders for shipped goods skyrocketed, but there was not enough manpower to deliver the shipments in a timely manner.

Trucking companies began offering higher wages and bonuses during Covid times.

But the pandemic has slowed down the process for getting a commercial driver’s licences – there were long queues for grocery shops, for petrol stations, and for everything in between.

Studying and taking government exams for a job are also tough.

Because of this, US companies have turned elsewhere.

Bringing in foreign workers like South Africans will not solve all the problems in the trucking industry. There are visa issues to sort and immigration rules to follow, but at least these workers are trained and have experience.

They’ll just have to learn to drive on the right-hand side of the road!

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