CTA promoting industry image in face of truck driver shortage

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) says it’s preparing the largest industry image campaign in association history, with a Trucking is Changing social media campaign that will begin focusing on young people this month.

Labor shortages continue to top the list of industry concerns identified by 30 senior trucking executives surveyed by Nanos Research on behalf of the alliance.

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(Illustration: istock)

An aging workforce, training barriers, and lack of interest in the profession were all identified as contributing factors to such shortages. The industry’s image and a need to make it more attractive to a younger generation of workers was highlighted among the most popular solutions.

“The trucking sector study suggests [a] growing labor shortage concern, which may impact supply chains,” noted Nik Nanos, chief data scientist of Nanos Research.

“It always been a problem, and it is going to be an increasing problem. Demographics who are driving trucks are closer and closer to retirement,” one respondent is quoted as saying.

An overwhelming majority – 26 of the respondents – ranked the labor shortage as their top concern.

“A majority of senior executives relate a possible lack of capacity to the labor shortages in the trucking industry, with most saying that it is a lack of human capacity and not equipment that is a problem. Many senior executives also added that unseated trucks are also a lack of human capacity,” the Nanos report concludes.

One in five of the surveyed executives said 10% of their trucks were unseated, while two in five respondents said less than 5% of their trucks lacked drivers.

A labor shortage was identified as the top concern in a similar survey conducted by CTA and Nanos Research in 2019. And the conclusions align with Trucking HR Canada findings, which identified 18,000 vacant driving positions in the second quarter of 2021.

The driver shortage has for five straight years been the top concerns identified in an annual survey of industry representatives by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).

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  • When injured and sick truck drivers are seen homeless it seems silly to put lipstick on a pig. If they wanted to improve the trucking companies imagine set a standard of treatment for drivers by all C T A members. Also plan to provide medical care when the driver get injured and a group home for homeless drivers. Then I would be happy to see new drivers come into trucking.

  • I am 68 years old and have over 45 years experience and bored sitting at home. I have a clean AMZ licence and clean cvor. I stopped running Montreal about 5 weeks ago the 401 steady Is a horrible highway. I would go back out if I could find the right job running west that would allow my wife to come with me. I would need a truck with 2 beds fridge and invertor. Canada only for now until they drop the covid test to come home. I have experience in all Provinces and most States. The job would have to be perfect to attract me. I have at least 2 years left in me.

  • We’ve been hearing about this mythical driver shortage for years but yet the freight is still moving and the shelves are stocked.When fleets have 5-10 % of their trucks unseated maybe they just have too many trucks and it’s not a driver shortage at all .Just sayin.

    • Its funny hearing the various trucking lobbies say there is a truck driver shortage. I have been in the industry since the 1980’s and the ATA has been complaining about a driver shortage for the last 40 years!

      Trucking associations love having an over-supply of drivers to keep wages down.
      If there was truly a driver shortage, Driver’s would be making $10 a mile (Supply an Demand) and driving Mercedes and BMW’s on their off days!

  • I just started into my 47th year driving semis for a living. I haul gravel in the oil patch for 3 seasons and tree length logs during the winter. I’m about to turn 73 and plan to retire in a couple of years.
    One of the reasons I plan to shut down soon, is the quality of the new drivers I’ve been seeing for the last 10 to 15 years. I take a lot of pride in being a truck driver, but watching those who will replace me, is steadily eroding that pride. So many of them are so unlike the drivers I learned from, that it is almost embarrassing to admit to my profession. They are rude, careless, unfriendly, high on themselves, and, quite often, dangerous to the public. This has a lot to do with driver shortages. I know I wouldn’t hire them, and it looks like I’m not alone.

  • The other problem is finding a reputable company that doesn’t take advantage of those with less experience. While these companies don’t represent all, they put a blemish on the industry as a whole. If we want to welcome new people into the game, it has to be honest and fair.

  • Terrible pay, long hours away from home, no real time off. Who in their right mind would get into trucking as a career?

  • What no mention that many long haul companies have 90% turnover each year? Seems to me Trucking companies need to recognize drivers as very valuable assets and not liabilities!

  • You, can get your truck license at 18 years old in Canada but no company will hire you until 21-25 because of insurance companies won’t let you. I’m 30 years on the road and my 20 years old son is getting his license but the small company 5 trucks can’t hire him to drive team with me because of insurance unwilling to accept him until 21 years old and 2-3 years off experience. I called around the big companies and seems the same 21 they ask, even that I wona drive with him and teach him.

  • Attitude of trucking industry, long hours less pay and ruthless licensing written exams frequency is responsible for shortage.
    I appeared for renewal exam in 2019 September and passed, some how i am again due for my written exam in 2021 December. The service Ontario gives a funny explanation and is unable to explain further by saying that you are just due. If such like attitude to earn money continues with private companies running the licensing show then i am definitely advising youngsters not to come to this industry.