IRU survey reveals global driver shortage

International Road Transport Union’s (IRU) annual driver shortage survey shows unfilled commercial driver positions continue to increase at alarming rates.

The survey found that truck driver shortages increased by 42 per cent from 2020 to 2021, with open unfilled driver positions reaching 71,000 in Romania, 80,000 in both Poland and Germany, and 100,000 in the UK.

In Mexico, shortages increased by 30 per cent to reach 54,000 vacancies, and in China by 140 per cent to reach 1.8 million.

IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, said the shortages are putting even more stress on global economies.

“Chronic commercial driver shortages are getting worse, with millions of positions remaining unfilled,” he said. “This is putting already stressed economies and communities at higher risk of inflation, social mobility issues and supply chain meltdown.”

According to road transport operators, the current driver shortage crisis is caused by a lack of skilled drivers in all regions, except for China and Turkey, which cited driver conditions and the profession’s image respectively as the main cause.

“Road transport operators are doing their part, but governments and authorities need to maintain focus, especially to improve parking infrastructure, training access, and encouraging more women and young people into the profession,” said de Pretto.

The annual survey covers more than 1,500 commercial road transport operators in 25 countries in the Americas, Asia and and Europe, which found that truck driver shortages increased in all regions in 2021 except Eurasia.

In other news, IRU is leading reform in Togo.

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