Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) has revealed that its New York Delivery Partners have been struggling to hire truck drivers. According to one supermarket chain owner, the challenges with the recruitment of drivers are contributing to the product shortages experienced in its stores. 

Coca-Cola unable to make deliveries in New York

Gristedes supermarket chain owner John Catsimatidis told Fox Business that Coca-Cola could not get truck drivers for deliveries in New York City. However, its partner Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages responsible for distribution across New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, told insiders that it was hiring to recruit truckers. 

A company spokesperson said, “Like many local employers around the New York City area, as well as employers across the country, we are currently navigating a disrupted supply chain and labor shortage among different departments, including our fleet management and delivery drivers.”

The spokesperson indicated that Liberty Coca-Cola has been trying to enhance the supply chain.  According to the spokesman, this includes awarding new recruits signing incentives, providing free commercial driver’s license lessons and certifications to existing employees, and spending millions in local facilities to boost efficiencies. Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid, and Topo Chico are among the Coca-Cola Company’s other brands.

US-facing trucker shortages 

The United States is currently experiencing a severe shortage of truck drivers, which is disrupting the supply chain. Companies are increasing wages and offering large sign-on incentives in order to recruit more employees. For example, a Maryland logistics company announced it would provide a signing bonus of at least $15,000 to all new drivers.

In an interview with Insider, Dennis Hickey, chief marketing officer at Krasdale Foods, said the driver shortage ” is symptomatic of the whole labor industry right now.” Krasdale distributes groceries to retailers in six states, with a focus on small businesses in New York City. Hickey added that the drover shortage combined with supply chain interruptions such as port delays and increasing demand for goods is causing stocking challenges.