During the pandemic, millions of people around the world got used to working from home. But bus, coach and truck drivers – commercial drivers of all sorts – are one group of workers for whom working from home was never an option. In some parts of the world, 25% of driving jobs are unfilled, according to a report from the International Road Transport Union (IRU), which surveyed 800 road transport businesses in over 20 countries. The main issue? There are simply too few people wanting to work as truck drivers. Without them, global supply chains may struggle to operate without further disruption.
“A shortage of drivers simply means that some truck journeys just don't happen,” explains William Petty, Deputy Director at the Global Alliance for Trade. “This leads to delays in delivery of goods, and can even lead to total loss of the cargo - for example with perishable goods.”
“All of this has a direct impact on trade and competitiveness - if you are an exporter and your lead times become unpredictable, or if your costs increase, your customers may turn to other suppliers,” he added.