Teen truckers proposed to help solve supply chain bottleneck

Business

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — With the nation’s ports clogged with shipping containers that can’t get to where they need to be because of a shortage of truckers, a guest on “Morning in America” has a solution: Allow 18-year-olds to drive the trucks hauling the containers.

Rebecca Hudson, executive board member of the Next Generation in Trucking Association, said the association has asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to tweak the federal regulations to allow commercial license holders under 21 to move containers from the ports as long as they stay within the states where the ports are located.

Under current regulations, truckers 18 to 21 years old can move containers within states, but only if the containers originate within the state. Since containers at ports come from elsewhere, they’re currently off-limits.

The 18-year-olds have already completed their training and received their CDLs, but federal rules keep them from driving in interstate commerce until they are 21.

Hudson said there are “many” truckers in the age range of 18 to 21 who are fully certified and who could help tremendously relieve the backlog of containers. She doesn’t see the rule modification as a major change, given that the younger drivers are already allowed to carry freight between any points within their states.

Hudson said the rule change could help alleviate the bottleneck by the holidays and get sought-after gifts to store shelves. All that’s needed is for Buttigieg sign off on the change.

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