Finding drivers to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables in Michigan can be easier said than done.
With Michigan’s economy coming back from the huge hit the recession delivered to it, it’s easy for willing workers in the Wolverine State to find jobs, said Nate Stone, chief operating officer of Detroit-based Ben B. Schwartz & Sons Inc.
That may be even more true for transportation jobs, which the produce industry is keenly aware of, Stone said.
“I don’t think you could find a produce company that wouldn’t hire six drivers. Right now is a good time to find good, steady employment if you’re a driver.”
It’s not just fruit and vegetable distributors that are scrambling for drivers, Stone said.
“I think it has very little to do with produce, we’re just included in the discussion. If you deliver furniture you need drivers, too.”
Mechanization has affected many industries, Stone said, as all Michigan residents know. But at least for now, transportation isn’t one of them.
Machines can build cars, but they can’t drive them.
“It’s one thing robots haven’t replaced,” Stone said.
Dominic Riggio, president of Detroit-based Riggio Distribution Co., said the transportation thus far in 2014 is fairly typical.
“Transportation is always a full-time job, but it’s nothing we’re not accustomed to, and there haven’t been any significant problems this year.”
Nothing stands out about 2014, but transportation is always a challenge, said Jeff Abrash, owner of Detroit-based produce wholesaler Andrews Bros. Inc.
“Nothing ever gets easier. We do the best we can.”