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The great shortage of truck drivers

The problem dates from before the health crisis since the profession has been experiencing a vocation crisis for several years. Image problem, unattractive salaries and ignorance of the profession explain this shortage of candidates. At the same time, needs are increasing with many retirements in the sector and activity picking up strongly with the economic recovery.

A real headache for many entrepreneurs. A report by the DARES (the Directorate for the Animation of Research, Studies and Statistics) of October 2020, moreover showed that road drivers were among the 30 most stressed professions in France in 2019.

A shortage of drivers affecting all markets

This problem is now recurrent throughout the world and not only in France. According to the IRU report, the shortage of truck drivers in Spain could reach 10.2% of vacancies in 2021, compared to 7% in 2020. In France , between 40,000 and 50,000 Freight Dispatching Services Company in California are short of appeal, while in Germany the figure is 65,000. On the side of world superpowers like the United States , the situation is similar. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the trucking sector has a deficit of 80,000 drivers, a 30% increase since pre-pandemic times, when the sector was already facing a shortage of 61,500 drivers.

Why are there so few truck drivers?

To identify the origin of the problem, let’s go back to the IRU report. One piece of information particularly draws attention, namely that only 7% of truck drivers are under 25 years old. The average age is over fifty and only one in four drivers is in a lower age bracket.

However, the main cause of this decline is the lack of truck driving experience: in fact, driving this type of vehicle requires demands that have a cost, which not everyone is ready to pay. In countries such as Spain , for example, drivers must have a certificate of professional aptitude or CAP in order to travel on the roads of the country. To obtain this certificate, candidates must follow a training course and then pass an exam.

These prerequisites are added to the declining popularity of the profession and the unflattering image it projects in society, which makes it unattractive in the eyes of young people. Being a truck driver involves a lot of sacrifices, especially on social or family life and leisure, and spending long periods away from home. Nor should we forget the working conditions specific to the logistics sector, with low wages, road insecurity and long-standing demands that remain topical, such as the prohibition for the driver to load and unload the vehicle when fully loaded.

What is chartering?

In the field of transport, chartering is define as a rental contract between two parties: the freighter and the charterer. The freighter is the owner of the modes of transport request by the charterer. The latter weaves a professional partnership in order to exploit these logistical means.

Chartering concerns different sectors of activity. If it is most often used in maritime transport, it is also found for aeronautics and land transport on roads or by rail. Depending on the specifics of the contract and the conditions of implementation, the organization of the freight (the goods) may be the responsibility of the charterer or the freighter.

It should be noted that the freight serves both to define the goods and the freighter’s remuneration. Its estimate depends on the distance to be cover, the delivery times, the volume of the freight (size, weight, etc.) and its packaging, not to mention the mode of transport chosen.

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