Desperate for truck drivers

By Camille FratiLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

Road transport is one of the sectors struggling to recruit. A long-term trend that has worsened since the Covid-19 crisis and worries professionals.

The changed world that was touted during the lockdown, as if this freezing of the economy and social interactions could constitute a new beginning, has not yet become a reality. Or it has the opposite face to what we hoped for. In several sectors, the health crisis has had the effect of an electroshock and accelerated the loss of professionals. This is exactly what is happening in the road transport sector, which is witnessing both the defection of experienced drivers and the absence of new ones, and this in the midst of the post-Covid overheating of international trade in goods.

"There is a shortage of 500,000 truck drivers across Europe", says Antoine Ries, adviser to the Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce at the "Groupement Transports" (Transport Group), the transporters' federation. "Traditionally, the Luxembourg transport sector has always hired in neighbouring countries, especially Belgium, France and Germany. These countries also suffer from huge driver shortages: in Germany, the transporters' federation (…) estimates this shortage at 80,000 drivers and this could double by 2023. This is a structural problem, with 30,000 drivers retiring every year and only 15,000 being recruited. The deficit is building up and the situation is getting worse. Even in Eastern Europe, from which Western European countries have been drawing for several years, truck drivers are becoming scarcer. "In Poland alone, there is a shortage of 100,000 drivers", says Ries. And these figures were established before the war in Ukraine took 100,000 drivers off the roads of Europe.

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