Have you noticed that there already have been Black Friday events kicking off? There is some reasoning behind the early Black Friday's from retailers, one of the reasons we are seeing earlier sales for the holidays is that once you buy something it has to get to you before Christmas, and with the trucking industry seeing a shortage of 80,000 drivers it's going to take longer to get you those items in plenty of time.

Convenience Store News is devoted to "delivering the insight, analysis, market research and business intelligence that helps c-store retailers stay ahead of what's next" according to their website, indicates that "pressure on the retail supply chain cycle is growing as U.S. ports remain backlogged as the holiday shipping season draws nearer, and truck drivers move 71 percent of goods in the U.S. economy."

Currently, there are roughly 80,000 openings across the US for truck drivers. And as we know some of those openings are right here in Southern Minnesota.

Sadly it doesn't look like the shortage of truck drivers is going to get much better, as drivers age out and retire, there aren't enough people coming into the industry. American Trucking Association Economist Bob Costello told Convenience Store News that "The shortage could last for several years. Driver demographic trends, including gender and age, as well as expected freight growth, indicate the shortage could surpass 160,000 in 2030."

That's a lot of backlogged black Friday items and normal items that need to be trucked to area stores and retail outlets like grocery stores, big-box stores, and restaurants.

So much like when we visit restaurants, exercise patience and kindness this holiday season, and I guess more importantly plan on waiting for those items you either buy online or in-store, as there will probably be some shortages until we can get more drivers into the cabs of these semis.

To all those drivers out there, we appreciate you for keeping us moving forward. To quote the group Alabama "roll-on, eighteen-wheeler, roll on"

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