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Cheap Prices Will Be the Latest Casualty of the Trucker Shortage

Mar 01, 2019 at 07:13 AM CST
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America’s trucker shortage is about to hit consumers right where it hurts: in the kitty litter. McDonald’s Corp.’s long-time distributor Martin-Brower Co. is raising delivery fees, imperiling low menu prices, and Procter & Gamble Co., Church & Dwight Co. and Hasbro Inc. are sounding the alarm that higher freight fees could be passed on to consumers of everything from Crest toothpaste to Arm & Hammer cat litter to My Little Pony figurines. And it’s all because transport companies can’t find drivers. “Millennials, they don’t want to drive trucks,” said Darren Tristano, CEO and founder of consultant Foodservice Results. “They’re looking at this and saying, ‘I want to be in something more glamorous, more tech-oriented.’” America simply doesn’t have enough truck drivers to deliver everything its people buy. That’s not new, but many retailers are just now feeling the pain as annual shipping contracts are renewed. That has trucking companies scrambling to find ways to keep costs down. And it has Michael Norwich counting every dime and quarter as he contemplates the $4.99 combo meal whose price is dictated at Jack in the Box Inc. headquarters.