Workforce and CDL Relief
Despite providing competitive wages, benefits and long-term career opportunities, beer distributors are facing significant labor shortages from workers who load trucks to commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers who safely deliver beer. It is important that Congress take steps to help address labor shortages, supply chain challenges and transportation costs.
Labor Shortages and Supply Chain Challenges
Businesses across the country continue to struggle to recruit and retain workers as well as deal with continued challenges to the supply chain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported almost 100,000 more job openings in the wholesale trade sector in January of 2022 compared to January of 2021.
These unfilled jobs continue to put pressure on wages and inflation. As the country continues to return to normal, Congress should take steps to help address these challenges facing businesses.
Transportation costs, including fuel and fleet, are skyrocketing. This puts major pressure on small businesses. Congress should support policies that allow businesses to recognize greater transportation efficiencies and reduce costs.
CDL Drivers and The DRIVE Safe Act, H.R. 1745/S. 659
Beer distributors employ CDL drivers who deliver thousands of popular brands of beer to licensed retailers throughout local communities and return to the warehouse at the end of the day. The shortage of CDL drivers was a concern before the pandemic and continues to cause significant disruptions. Normal attrition and expansion of home delivery providers, combined with an aging CDL-driver workforce have contributed to a smaller pool of available delivery drivers. The bipartisan DRIVE Safe Act, H.R. 1745/S. 659, would create an apprentice program that would allow CDL holders between the ages of 18 and 21 to drive interstate and help grow the CDL-driver workforce
We Encourage Congress to:
- Take steps to address the nationwide labor shortage and challenges in the supply chain, including apprenticeships, community college and trade school initiatives. Support policies that address rising transportation costs and allow businesses to recognize greater transportation efficiencies and reduce costs.
- Cosponsor the DRIVE Safe Act, H.R. 1745/S. 659, and support meaningful efforts to increase the pool of eligible CDL drivers.