Driver demand

Disturbing news this month for any companies already deeply concerned about the impact of driver shortages on the resilience of their supply chains.

A new ‘Driver Shortage Global Report 2022’ from IRU, the International Road Transport Union, reveals over 2.6 million truck driver jobs were unfilled in 2021 – and the shortage is set to soar in 2022, with Europe expected to see a 14% gap in demand versus supply. With a high proportion of older drivers nearing retirement, ‘the shortage of drivers will continue to rise dangerously, if no action is taken,’ the study says. 

Europe currently has the highest average driver age of 47, with over one-third of the driver population above 55 years old.

Higher wages also appear to be failing to attract new blood into the industry, despite, in the UK alone, driver gross pay rising by 18% over nine months.

The study estimates there are currently over 380,000 unfilled truck driver jobs in Europe. Freight companies surveyed recognised much of this shortfall is connected to the working conditions drivers face, including poor facilities at parking locations. If these issues can be addressed, however, the current shortfall could potentially be met by the 50 million people who are unemployed in the countries surveyed. 

The report also found:

  • In all regions, less than 3% of truck drivers are women
  • The share of young drivers in Europe was below 7%, partly due to the minimum legal age requirements to access the profession (ranging from 21-26 years depending on the country)
  • Driving in not considered an attractive professional by young people

The 1,524 companies from 25 countries which took part in the study highlighted the main measures governments could adopt to help address the issue of driver shortages, including:

  • Improving the image of the profession
  • Lowering the minimum age
  • Facilitating access to professional training
  • Improving working conditions
  • Enabling the use of higher capacity vehicles. 

Download the full report here

Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand
Driver demand