Here's an idea to both accommodate the ongoing job shortage and facilitate an overloaded supply chain: robot trucks.
No, this isn't a Simpson's reference, although an episode in the 10th season of the cartoon TV series did see Homer taking a temporary job as a truck driver, only to discover there was an autopilot feature in the truck. In the real world, a University of Michigan study shows that autonomous trucks could potentially replace 90 percent of human driving needed in U.S. long-haul trucking.
A Bloomberg report on the study notes that there are a "handful of big ifs" to making the system work, but the bulk of freeway driving could be transferred to autonomous systems, especially in Southern states.
"If trucking companies focused only on America's Sun Belt, they could fairly easily offset 10 percent of human driving, the study shows," Bloomberg's Kyle Stock writes. "If they deployed the robots nationwide, but in warmer months only, half of the country's trucking hours could go autonomous."