A new study by the International Road Transport Union (IRU) has revealed that one in five European truck driver jobs is currently vacant.
Not that we needed statistical evidence, any truck driver can see the shortage on the ground.
We can also see the reasons behind the shortage. Polling a number of truck drivers, the IRU found the industry is failing to attract new recruits because of unacceptable working conditions, the time spent away from home and the profession’s negative image.
With many drivers nearing retirement or defecting to the passenger sector, it’s only a matter of time before goods are simply not getting to where they need to be. Add legislation to the mix and there is a real sense of doom. The EU law to cut CO2 emissions has been seen as an attack on the trucking industry, and rules about drivers not taking rest breaks in their vehicles and returning to their home countries every for weeks for at least 20 days have been widely criticised by the industry.
If not dealt with, the IRU estimates the shortage could increase from 21% to 40%.
When is something going to be done to make the industry more appealing to a younger generation of drivers? Or is it too late?