I'm a driver, there's not a driver shortage........
The problem is two fold:
1) Laziness fueled by certain folks handing out free checks and pampering everyone and giving them a crutch to support their worthlessness.
2) Companies treating experienced drivers like crap so they eventually throw in the towel and go do something else. (The boat I am in)
That sounds like a driver shortage to me. The reasons you give are true but the end result is the same.
It’s the same for package sorters and loaders too.
I wonder if these odd routes are the result of packages being cleared out to make room for incoming packages?