IRU report warns of European shortage of HGV Drivers | Descartes Routing UK

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IRU report warns of European shortage of HGV Drivers

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The latest IRU report, revealed that there were 230,000 unfilled HGV driver positions in Europe in 2023, also warns that this chronic shortage has led to more than half of European trucking companies being unable to expand their business. 

Based on a survey of over 1,000 haulage companies across 27 EU countries, Norway and the UK the report also uncovered that nearly 50% of companies had reduced productivity because of the driver shortage, resulting in 39% of companies showing a decline in revenue. 

With the average age of EU HGV drivers being 47 and one-third over 55 if significant action is not taken to recruit new drivers and to reduce the shortage soon, vacancies will grow to exceed 745,000 by 2028 due purely to retirements. The report showed that less than 5% of EU HGV drivers were below the age of 25, highlighting the gap between school leavers and the profession. 

More than 70% of companies were investing in ways to retain and attract drivers, with over half offering increased salaries or performance rewards and 44% of EU companies helping employees to enter the profession. 

As costs continue to rise and the shortage of HGV drivers bites, so haulage companies will need to consider several solutions to help increase productivity and retain their current drivers. The latest Descartes research, “What are companies doing to survive the supply chain and logistics workforce and driver shortage challenge?”, a survey across 1,000 companies in Europe and North America revealed that 54% are prioritising automation to mitigate workforce shortages and drive productivity. The top technology choices for labour workers were delivery route optimisation (54%) and driver mobile productivity solutions (45%), while for knowledge workers the top technology choice to improve productivity was real-time shipment tracking (53%). 


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