According to industry experts, the Canadian trucking industry has been faced with a decreasing number of truck drivers since 2005. Making this situation more difficult is a multitude of issues, highlighted by the current global supply chain difficulties as we recover from the nearly 2-year-old Covid pandemic.
A recent report by Trucking HR Canada found that at the end of the second financial quarter of 2021, there were over 18,000 truck driver vacancies in the country. About 40% of employers surveyed by Trucking HR Canada said current business activity was higher than pre-pandemic levels, while 2/3 were unable to hire all the people they needed in the past year. Filling those positions will be a tall task due to an aging workforce, barriers to appropriate training and a negative image of the position within the general population.
Compounding the issue even further are recent announcements by both the Canadian and US governments in regards to the implementation of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all truck drivers crossing the border as of January 15th and 22nd, 2022 respectively. This has the potential to eliminate 38,000 drivers in Canada and another 40,000 in the U.S.. To date, truck drivers, as essential workers, have been exempt from the vaccine mandates.
In an effort to combat this long-standing problem, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) will soon be unveiling its largest image/public relations campaign in history, with the goal of appealing to a broader audience needed to infuse necessary personnel to this vital component of our economy.
In addition, the CTA is calling on the Government of Canada, provinces, and major private and public sector buyers of transportation services to continue working with the CTA on improving truck safety measures, hoping to appeal to a younger and more diverse demographic.
Further short-term and long-term measures will be critical, including a streamlining of the application processes for Canadian companies hiring temporary and permanent foreign workers to fill these ever-increasing labour shortages.
For more information, contact William Sanchez, Manager – Truck Services.