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CTHRC: Demand for Drivers to Rise

OTTAWA, Ont. - Economic growth and attrition will combine to require an infusion of nearly 224,000 qualified commercial drivers in the trucking industry by 2008, according to a study conducted for the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council.


OTTAWA, Ont. – Economic growth and attrition will combine to require an infusion of nearly 224,000 qualified commercial drivers in the trucking industry by 2008, according to a study conducted for the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council.

This translates into an annual average of 37,317 drivers, according to the study, entitled Profile of Driver Shortage, Driver Turnover and Future Demand Estimates.

In Ontario alone, 89,560 commercial drivers will be needed for 2003-2008, nearly 15,000 new drivers during each of those years.

“These numbers are rather staggering and clearly point to the major challenge the industry is going to have in keeping up to the demand for freight in the future. If the study estimates are even half-way right, we are still talking some very big numbers,” says Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO David Bradley.

Other study highlights include:

Demand Due to Economic Growth: Based on economic forecasts alone, between 2002 and 2008 the demand for qualified commercial drivers in Canada will increase by approximately 22 per cent from 282,100 to 343,600 drivers.

Demand Due to Attrition: An additional 162,400 new drivers would be required nationally to replace existing drivers who leave the industry between 2003-2008 due to retirement or change of occupation.

Overall Demand

More Needed for Tractor-Trailer Units: The study estimates that roughly two-thirds of the forecasted drivers needed will require a Class “A” commercial driver’s licence (qualified to drive tractor-trailer units).

Trucking Workforce Tends to be Older than National Average: In 2001, 40 per cent of employees in transportation were 45 years or older – compared to 34 per cent for all other industries.

And 13 per cent of employees in trucking were 55 or older – compared to 11 per cent in all other industries. This means transportation will lose employees to retirement faster than most other industries.

Trucking Workforce Under-represented in Younger Age Categories: The study shows that between 1991 and 2001, younger drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 have become increasingly under-represented when compared to other employed Canadians.

In 1991, more than nine per cent of drivers were between 20 and 24. By 2001, the number was cut in half to around 4.5 per cent, while those in the same age group employed in other occupations remained at above nine per cent.

The findings come from an in depth study of Canadian drivers, fleets and industry associations.

The study will soon be available for download from the CTHRC Web site at www.cthrc.com


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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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