Burgum signs emergency order due to truck driver shortage

January 26, 2022

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Tuesday signed an emergency order meant to ease a shortage of truck drivers to deliver milk to schools, businesses and other customers.

The edict waives hours of service requirements for truck drivers for 30 days, which follows a decision by the state’s milk marketing board to waive enforcement of certain licensing requirements until April 1.

The measures come after a major milk distributor in North Dakota went out of business, due in part to a lack of certified drivers. More than 50 school districts were at risk of losing milk deliveries, officials said.

Burgum said it’s a temporary fix until officials can figure out how “to get government out of the way” and get more drivers in the workforce.

Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring are spearheading an effort to recruit truckers who have allowed their commercial driver’s licenses to expire. The state has lost 3,000 certified drivers since 2017.

“We have adequate production and processing of milk,” Goehring said. “Our concerns lie with access to containers for processors, labor issues within the supply chain and a major shortage of drivers.”