Freight News, Road

Driver shortage to surge in 2020, says IRU

[ March 9, 2020   //   ]

IRU said that its research of small and medium sized logistics companies  showed that the European road transport sector is facing a 13% increase in its commercial driver shortage. The commercial freight driver shortfall on the continent would rise from 23% in 2019 to 36% in 2020, it predicted.

Poland and Romania are two of the most heavily affected countries. In Poland, driver shortage stands at 22% and is expected to jump by 15 points this year. In Romania, the situation is even more critical as the 50% driver shortage recorded in 2019 is foreseen to reach 62% this year.

Both countries the lowest rates of female participation in the industry in Europe – 2% of the commercial driver workforce due to difficult working conditions, a lack of safe and secure parking areas and long periods spent away from home.

In Romania, another key cause of the driver shortage is heavy emigration. Official figures show that in the last 10 years 3.4 million Romanians have left the country.]

IRU is proposing lowering and harmonising minimum age to become a professional driver, developing a joint charter with the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) to improve treatment of drivers at delivery sites and creating and funding more secure truck parking areas.

IRU has secured €60 million worth of EU funding for the development of Safe & Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPAs) and setting up the Women in Transport Talks initiative to encourage more women into the profession.

However, said secretary general Umberto de Pretto: “While we have secured successes and set important groundwork, more actions, including public-private cooperation, are needed urgently, to ensure our industry continues to strive and to deliver, as the lifeblood of the global economy.”

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