With truck drivers transporting most consumer goods and products in Canada, we have grown to depend on them. Over recent years several factors have attributed to a driver shortage like never before. By 2020 we will be missing 33,000 drivers in Canada (currently we are at a shortage of 15,000) and in the U.S. by 2022 this number can be as high as 240,000 (currently at a shortage of 35,000 drivers). Let’s examine the situation…
- 1 of 5 drivers in the workforce is over the age of 55
- The rise of the Canadian dollar in 2006 affected southbound demand coupled with the financial collapse in 2008 - which both forced drivers to change careers
- Increase in technology, making training more important and difficult for the veteran drivers
- More rules and regulations implemented by Government
- Freight moved for cheaper prices, therefore lower wages
What can happen?
This type of shortage can cause the following:
- Retail stores will be understocked and therefore run out of supplies quickly
- Companies will pay more for transportation services and in turn pass that cost onto the consumer by raising retail prices
- Businesses will absorb the added cost, driving down profits and causing more layoffs
The CTHRC (Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council) is applying pressure to the government to have trucking labeled as a 'skilled trade'. This would allow the hiring of foreign workers easier for employers.
Furthermore, The Canadian Trucking Alliance (representing 150,000 drivers) has been working with the government to make training mandatory for drivers. This will help any potential driver qualify for funding as it relates to training and therefore give them further opportunity in the industry.
Lastly, the Government will have to look at setting up programs to encourage young people to enter the industry by creating student loans for training.
Of course government involvement is only one part of the solution. Companies like Vitesse have taken the initiative to create our own program to incentivize new drivers to join the workforce by offering the following benefits:
- Health Benefits
- MPG/Performance Programs
- Multiple Division Options/Flexibility: City, Long-Haul, Short-Haul, Team Drivers, Flatbed
Let’s work together to keep this industry moving in the right direction.