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A look into the impact of the driver shortage on distributors

A Deeper Dive: Terry Walsh, president of Southwest Traders, discusses the driver shortage and other labor issues affecting delivery and how much that is contributing to supply chain inflation.

This edition of A Deeper Dive is sponsored by Lamb Weston.

Lamb Weston

Restaurants aren’t the only businesses with labor problems. Distributors have their own challenges that are also driving up costs for operators.

This week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast A Deeper Dive features Terry Walsh, the president of boutique California distribution company Southwest Traders, to discuss the impact of the labor shortage on distributors and how that affects restaurants.

A lack of truck drivers has been an increasing problem for distributors for years but was worsened during the pandemic, which has played a major role in an increase in supply chain costs while causing problems with delayed or even cancelled deliveries.

But a warehousing worker shortage has also caused problems. Terry talks about these roles, why companies have had problems getting these workers, and what distributors are doing about it. He talks about their impact on operators and overall costs and what steps operators can do to make life easier on drivers.

Walsh has more than 30 years in the distribution business and has president of Southwest Traders since 2016. He has spent 14 of those years on the board of the International Foodservice Distributors Association.

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