Journal indépendant d'économie et de politique des transports
CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE STUDI CONTAINERS
ANNO XXXVIII - Numero MARZO 2020
IRU FORECASTS 'ALARMING JUMP' IN DRIVER SHORTAGE IN EUROPE
The European road transport sector is facing a 13% increase in
driver shortages in 2020, according to research from the
International Road Transport Union (IRU).
The trade body surveyed small and medium transport and logistics
companies in a number of European countries, calculating the
commercial freight driver shortage on the continent to rise from 23%
in 2019 to 36% in 2020.
According to IRU's report, Poland and Romania are two of the
most heavily impacted European 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.
Poland and Romania see the lowest rates of female drivers in
Europe - 2% of the commercial driver workforce. Reasons deterring
women from entering the profession include difficult working
bringing the profession closer to the youth, the IRU underlined.
In Romania, a key cause of the driver shortage is down to high
numbers of the population emigrating. Official figures show that in
the last 10 years 3.4 million Romanians have left the country.
Constantin Isac, the president at UNTRR, the National Union of
Road Hauliers from Romania commented: "There are a number of
things that can be done in order to alleviate the worrying, and
aggravating, driver shortage in Romania - including carrying out
training for professional reconversion of other sectors' unemployed
personnel; decreasing the minimum age for drivers in the country
from 21 to 18; and importing a non-EU qualified labour force."
"Concrete actions and proposed solutions put forward by
trade body include 'lowering and harmonising the minimum age to
become a professional driver and the creation and funding of more
and better safe and secure truck parking areas"
The IRU notes that the driver shortage remains "a universal
problem - across Europe and beyond - and one that IRU is committed
to work with its members and policy makers to help solve."
The concrete actions and proposed solutions it conditions, a
lack of safe and secure parking areas, and long periods spent away
Jan Buczek, President of the Association of International Road
Hauliers in Poland (ZMPD) commented: "To encourage more women
and young people into the profession, it is essential that
improvements are made to guarantee better working conditions.
"There also needs to be greater state involvement in
facilitating young people to become qualified drivers and help them
overcome the high costs required for training and qualifications. It
is also necessary to change transport regulations. To use the
acquired qualifications, students must be able to work. However, the
regulations only allow them to do so after they become 21 years old.
There is a risk that before they reach this age, they will start
working elsewhere and will not return to this profession."
When it comes to young drivers, 11% of the workforce in Poland
are younger than 25 years old, while in Romania, the average age of
drivers sits at 41 years old. Although these figures are better than
the European averages - 7% of European drivers are below 25 years
old and the average age of commercial drivers is 45 in Europe, much
remains to be done when it comes to has put forward include lowering
and harmonising the minimum age to become a professional driver; the
development of a joint Charter together with the European Shippers'
Council (ESC) to improve treatment of drivers at delivery sites and
the creation and funding of more and better safe and secure truck
IRU said it is already making significant progress in tackling
the European driver shortage, securing €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.
"In addition, IRU has formed a number of partnerships,
including with ILO (the International Labour Authority) and ETF (the
European Transport Workers Federation).
IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto, commented: "While
we have secured successes and set important ground work, 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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