By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some Twin Cities-area gas stations have been running out of gas ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce says there’s no supply shortage. The delivery of the gas to some pumps may be disrupted because the trucking industry’s dealing with a driver shortage.

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WCCO spoke Thursday with Jason Michels, CEO of Albertville-based Long Haul Trucking.

“It’s hard to find candidates to fill jobs,” Michels said.

He says Long Haul can’t provide all the services its manufacturing clients are asking for right now because it’s not bringing in new drivers like it used to.

“I wouldn’t say it’s hurting us right now, but it’s keeping us from growing,” Michels said.

(credit: CBS)

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Long Haul primarily delivers steel, aluminum and manufactured goods. Michels says goods aren’t getting to where they need to go in time.

“There’s more [trucking] demand than there is supply,” he said. “Generally that increases the expense, so the expense of trucking will probably go up, and then the end user will see those costs.”

John Hausladen, the president of the Minnesota Trucking Association, says this supply chain disruption can lead to the occasional outage at the gas pump, but it’s nothing to panic about.

“There’s plenty of fuel out there to meet their needs. There’s some temporary blockages going on,” Hausladen said. “It’s a holiday weekend, and then there [is] some tightness in the labor force with trucking.”

Michels says more challenges lie ahead if the number of truck drivers continues to fall.

“Trucking makes up … 70-some percent of the U.S. supply chain, so your goods, from manufacture to delivery, most things touch a truck,” he said.

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Both Hausladen and Michels say that there’s never been a better time to become a truck driver. They say you’ll likely get a job right away, and while the average salary is in the mid-$50,000 range before benefits, there are drivers making more than $100,000 a year.

David Schuman