CTA calls for new steps to ease driver shortage

by Truck News

CTAOTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance and other trade associations are calling for fresh federal efforts to address the problem of the driver shortage.

The groups met Monday with Carla Qualtrough, the minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, to discuss the issue.

“CTA highlighted the need to develop plans to attract domestic and foreign workers to our industry, as well as addressing the need for federal investment in training programs in the trucking sector,” said Jonathan Blackham, CTA’s director of policy.

“Our members move the nation’s economy. As our labor crisis really starts to boil over, those in the Canadian supply chain will soon feel the fallout if it’s not addressed.”

The trucking industry had the highest job vacancy rate among all Canadian industries, averaging 6.6% per cent in 2018, or more than double the Canadian average, according to a recent labor survey.

Vacancies for truck drivers have more than doubled since 2016 with 22,000 vacant positions in 2018.

“This is not a projected shortage, this is an actual shortage of 22,000 workers,” said Blackham.

Close to 7% of truck drivers are 65 or older, meaning people are retiring from the trucking sector faster than any other industry.

At  the same time, there is a declining share of new entrants, with only 9.5% of truck drivers in Canada younger than 30 years old, compared to 24% of the entire Canadian labor force.

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  • The move to attract foreign workers as professional truck drivers is the worst idea ever. You know why the trucking companies and their Associations are pushing it? Cheap labor. Immigrants are always the source for cheap labor and trucking has just caught on. Don’t forget to talk about safety out of one side of your mouth while pushing for unqualified drivers from third world countries out of the other. Try paying drivers a living wage, quit screwing them out of their pay for rest times and waiting, make the drivers room better than a barn stall and you’ll have qualified driving candidates.

    • I am camped out at queens park right now and have been since last Friday. The ford government is not making sure truck drivers get proper health care. I was dumped off in downtown Windsor at 3 45 in the morning only able to crawl. The next day the mission sent me back to the hospital to be treated as a out patient. . I was unable to move myself off the property 3 security called the police . Because I didn’t have a taxi voucher from the homeless shelter. 5 police showed up to arrest me in a junk wheelchair with a bad wheel . I got improper care. The insurance companies for the trucking companies do not care about truck drivers. If a private nurse had not taken over my care I would have lost my right foot. The C T A does not care about truck drivers and the fact truck drivers are being put in bad places to park for the night with no showers and medical care in Ontario Canada is not good for truck drivers and other homeless people.

  • There is no driver shortage. Freight volumes are down substantially. Fleets are suffering from an excess of equipment for the volume of freight that they have. Given the opportunity fleets would downsize but due to low equipment values it would have a negative impact on their balance sheet.

  • I myself am an immigrant from Israel, and I agree with the previous post!
    Everyone is talking about high income drivers, comparing with the income of university graduates. But which university graduate works 12-14 hours a day and is in the workplace for a week in a row? !!! Our real salary is $ 10 per hour before taxes! 10×24 = $ 240 per day !!! Of course, no adequate person will want to work as a truck driver only if he needs to get immigration. Salary per mile – a discriminatory salary that makes the driver drive fast, despite weather conditions, despite illness or drowsiness.
    Until companies start paying per day and not for miles, no one except immigrants from Third World Countries will agree to do this job! But, with an electronic logbook, they also no longer want to work like that, because you need to stop and relax, and not earn so much. Therefore, they still prefer to work in Canada, where there are still paper logbooks. Today, there are more salaries at the construction site.
    Someone should step in and prohibit paying for miles !!! Otherwise, the number of accidents will grow every year, and the quality of drivers will deteriorate!
    Miser pays twice!!!

      • It does no good to go to the labor board in Ontario after Doug Ford got in . The labor board knew that celadon and other O T A members owed lease ops money and nothing was done I met 3 truck drivers over the weekend at queens park who were owed money from 2019 plus 2 more people unable to work after a accident none got their money or ever will

  • I have been in this racket now for 35 years if I knew what the future was going to bring when I got into this I would’ve chosen a different profession trucks that are neutered to the nuts, careless drivers, untrained drivers, wages and electronic logs that tell you when you can and cannot drive There are plenty of people in Canada to drive but who the hell would want to get into it now the government has to lighten up give us more freedom

  • Want a job that pays about minimum wage, keeps you away from home, and can put you in jail and mountains of lawsuits in a matter of seconds? Become a truck driver. OOIDA has already brought up to senate the real problem. Pay. Its not worth the Risk. Check with CRA. Trucking companies are lucky to make 3-10% margin. Too many hands in the top tier and the bottom(drivers) have been donating too much time. Pay a fixed salary like some companies are starting to do and watch your retention decrease and safety increase. Self driving might solve your driver problem. But more than likely you’ll have a bigger problem. Hijacking!

  • Theres no driver shortage, theres a truck over supply. Wish these same lobbying groups would do something about the outrageous insurance situation.

    • Some are trying to do something about the insurance companies. I am camped out at queens park on crutches The insurance needs a government option as private insurance is not working in Ontario Canada. I see it in the homeless shelters all the time. Some of the homeless shelters are restricting injured drivers as they do not have enough beds or medical care with ford cuts.

  • there is no shortage of drivers look at how many got the boot because company went under all of these drivers would be looking for work as well,and if you start calculating the revenue as a company driver you make less than the macdonald server their basic wage I believe is around 15 dollars per hour.
    Retirement is nice and no money into it and if you work you get your benefits reduced so my best guess as long there is money coming from the old age pension the guy could still making a little from driving.

  • pay, the last carrier I worked for paid hourly 21.00 or so in 2010 city or highway.mileage is a rip off.The companies all want to pay commission or trip rate so the driver gets stuck for delays .Teamsters and unifor and what ever other unions representing truckers should demand hourly pay .drivers should refuse to work unless hourly paid Any body that gets no pay for delays or breakdown If you don’t make at least $15.00 for every hour you were on the job whatever you are doing take to labor board for not paying minimum wage

  • Who cares about your bs driver shortage, not the professional truckers. Take 50% of drivers of the road and pay the pros what they deserve. Cant get your cheap garbage frieght delivered? Go buy a new truck and trailer then cut your owns s..t freight.

  • There is no driver shortage. Just a industry that’s too over regulated and under paid . Spending 6 days otr to do a 5 day job isn’t what newcomers will do

  • There is no shortage of truckers. As a matter of fact, many companies want drivers to pick up and deliver, then wait a few days ‘unpaid’ to get a load afterwards. It’s cheaper than building terminals… and it’s basically like a desparate fisherman wanting so bad to catch a single fish, in a lake with thousands of fishermen… and only 3 fish in that lake.