IRU puts numbers on driver shortage

The UK is losing 50 commercial vehicle drivers a day in a fast growing driver shortage according to new research from the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

Across Europe there is a 21% shortage of drivers in freight. The IRU believe this could hit 40% as demand grows later this year.

Asking drivers themselves why they believe there is a shortage, reasons given included long working hours, periods away from home and a difficulty in attracting women to become drivers.

Currently the average age among freight transport drivers is 44. Attracting younger drivers is a major problem in addressing the shortage. Brexit is compounding the problem with a lack of immigrants to fulfil the gap.

In Germany the average age of drivers is 47, presenting an even bigger cliff that employers face with many retiring within the next eight years.

Boris Blanche, IRU’s managing director said: “The transport industry needs to take immediate and decisive action to tackle the driver shortage. Left unchecked, it will have serious implications for the European economy and lead to rising costs for businesses, consumers and passengers.”

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