YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — S&H Express is a mid-sized family-owned trucking company based out of York.
“Our full coverage area is east of the Mississippi, but mainly we run in the northeast and in the tri-state area,” Joseph Serio, Vice President of Recruiting, S&H Express said.
Currently, they run about 300 trucks.
“Trucking has been a busy industry and COVID has made it more challenging,” Jordan Kolb, Executive Vice President, S&H Express said.
Like thousands of other trucking companies, their drivers have been working through the pandemic.
“They were making sure that the supply chain continued because logistics is the main part of the supply chain,” Serio said.
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When logistics break down, the supply chain slows down.
“At one point we had $22 billion in cargo sitting off the coast of California, multiple container ships,” Serio said.
Contributing to the delays, California has limited who can pick up the cargo off those ships.
“The state of California didn’t like what we call owner-operators. They are drivers that own their own truck. They get paid a percentage of the gross and we pay them a 1099 at the end of the year,” Jeffrey Shellenberger, President S&H Express said.
According to the American Trucking Association, there are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, 1 in 9 are independent, most are owner-operators.
“I think California was losing revenue because they were not a company employee so they kind of said we don’t want owner-operators anymore. I think a couple owner-operators left California and said we are never coming back,” Shellenberger said.
While some cargo ships have been rerouted to ports on the east coast, it still doesn’t take care of the issue on land.
“The driver shortage is a real problem in the marketplace,” Kolb said.
The country has been facing a truck driver shortage since the early 1990s.
“When the government, the Department of Transportation, took over and created the commercial driver’s license they didn’t grandfather everybody in. There was a certain criteria you had to make to get your CDL, so right then in 1992, so many people don’t realize, there was an immediate driver shortage,” Serio said.
The pandemic has only increased the need for more tuck drivers.
“COVID has caused a lot more product to be delivered direct to a consumer’s house and that takes a lot more trucks for products to get moved,” Kolb said.
All of this impacts our wallets.
“We are all seeing it at the grocery store, the gas station, everywhere we go, our electric bill, everything is going up because of the supply and demand issue,” Serio said.
When will the supply chain get back to normal?
“I don’t think it will be balanced until the end of 2023,” Serio said. “I think there will be a lot learned from the COVID breakdown for everything, not just the supply chain, but also manufacturing and distribution within the United States.”