Despite significant improvements to its human resource strategies in recent years, trucking remains plagued with an acute driver shortage. And while that may not seem as important an issue during the ...
Despite significant improvements to its human resource strategies in recent years, trucking remains plagued with an acute driver shortage. And while that may not seem as important an issue during the current economic downturn, once the economy regains its stride and freight volumes return to normal levels, both carriers and shippers are certain to feel the impact of not having enough drivers to move all the freight that needs to be moved.
Trucking, traditionally a laggard in human resources practices, has improved its performance in this regard. The turnover rate for Canadian fleets is down to 23% compared to 36% back in 2004, according to research conducted for the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council. The quit rate is also down, coming in at 13% in the latest CTHRC research, compared to 18% back in 2004.
Despite those improvements, however, the job vacancy rate is up compared to 2004, rising to 12% from 10%. More than 42% of Canadian fleets, regardless of size, report experiencing a shortage of drivers. The shortage is particularly acute among the larger fleets.
Inadequate training is an underlying issue many feel is contributing to the shortage. Three quarters of fleet managers surveyed said although there were Class 1/A drivers available, too many were not sufficiently qualified.
Although compensation is still considered a key obstacle to attracting and retaining drivers, interestingly, it is no longer considered the main obstacle. Working conditions/quality of life was identified as the top obstacle by the majority of fleet managers (44%) participating in the survey, followed by the aging of the work force, chosen by 40% of the sample and then compensation, chosen by 39%.
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