The trucking industry is in a world of hurt. A shortage of truck drivers is pushing up freight rates and delaying deliveries, defying the weak economy, high unemployment and falling gasoline prices.

Baby Boomer truckers are retiring and fewer young people are interested in long-haul-trucking careers that often require drivers to be away from home for weeks at a time

Driver turnover rates at large carriers rose to a four-year high of 90% in the first quarter from 75% a year ago, according to the trucking association says USA Today.

The crunch is expected to become worse next year when stricter federal limits on the number of hours drivers can work take effect. That will force companies to hire more drivers, and truck prices  have increased as much as 40% the past few years because of modernized engines that must meet tougher emissions rules.