Are Truck Drivers In Demand In Canada?

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Trucking is the lifeblood of many Canadian industries, as just about every major store relies on it to receive new goods from distributors. The reliance on transport trucks is only going to increase, and this means that truck drivers are in big demand in Canada. 

The catch? There aren’t enough new drivers joining the fleets. Unless major changes are made soon, the industry will be facing a severe driver shortage that could impact every major industry in our country. 

Why Are We Facing A Truck Driver Shortage?

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There are several reasons why the industry will be facing a shortage for a long time to come. The biggest one is that trucking has an image problem. Driving trucks for a living no longer seems like an attractive job for young people, and while truck driving was seen as a stable path for people in decades past, many parents encouraged their children to follow different career paths. Now, several generations removed, truck driving has lost its lustre, and with it the drivers needed to fill up its fleets.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance says that by 2024, the trucking industry could be short by as many as 48,000 drivers. The same study found that the average age of truck drivers now is 48, and this age will only rise as fewer young people join the profession. But this isn’t just a problem for the trucking industry – it threatens all Canadian consumers.

 

What Can The Trucking Industry Do?

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Many new immigrants to Canada, like generations before them in the Fifties and Sixties, see trucking as a way into the economy, but it’s still not enough to fill the employment gap. The number of immigrants as a share of drivers in the industry is actually lower than their share of other parts of the general economy, reflecting an image problem that goes beyond just generations. 

Trucking companies and driving schools have to bring back the image of the job as a source of stability and freedom. Trucking provides an independence and, because the demand is so great, a job security found in few other occupations. We also need to remind everyone that trucking remains the source of just about everything we consume. If the industry can improve how people see this profession, we can make a huge economic impact that affects everyone. 

Right now, there are reports of many Canadian trucking companies letting vehicles sit empty because they just don’t have the drivers necessary to fill them. This is a problem that is only going to get worse, because demand is only going to rise. By the time we hit 2020, more and more companies in Canada will rely on trucking to deliver goods, but unless we do something, there might not be the drivers needed to make these deliveries. 

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