With supply chain mangled, Gov. Lee plans to announce executive order dealing with the issue

Supply Chains
Posted at 11:24 AM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 06:57:20-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gov. Bill Lee traveled to Crossville Monday to sign an executive order dubbed Operation Open Road, which plans to deal with lingering supply chain issues across the nation and Tennessee.

Lee said he worked together with 15 governors across the country to provide a pathway forward for decreasing the supply chain challenges. Right now, products remain trapped at ports with docked ships unable to unload goods as they wait for truckers to keep the supply chain moving.

"Particularly in regard to CDLs, truckers and getting more trucks on the road," Lee said. "The federal government has regulations in place that prevent the smooth transition and prevent as many trucks as possible from being on the road. We are calling on President (Joe) Biden to make changes at the federal level that will loosen those restrictions to let trucks be on the road longer."

Lee said his effort will also ask for the age of truck drivers to be lowered. The typical minimum hiring age for most trucking agencies is 21. Per Tennessee state law, residents can have a CDL at 18 to drive within the state, but must be 21 to drive across state lines or carry hazardous material.

According to a recent survey, 53% of small business owners anticipate inventory shortages through the 2021 holiday shopping season. As a result, 58% of retailers say they plan to raise prices by 40% or more.

Scripps National contributed to this story.

This is a developing story. Check back with NewsChannel 5 for updates.