Addressing the shortage of professional drivers

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Helen Gallimore explores the potential ramifications of the current shortage in drivers, on the road transport industry.

During the past decade there has been an increasing shortage of professional drivers across the globe. This phenomenon has so far been partially masked by the economic crisis, however, as some market outlooks improve, the issue is likely to become a major challenge. Put simply, the road transport industry may soon be lacking its key component.

Why are there Fewer Drivers?

There are a number of factors contributing to the shortage in drivers. In Europe these include an aging workforce, the need for drivers to obtain CPC accreditation before September 2014 and the perceived unattractiveness of the industry. In addition there has been a reduction in the number of LGV tests taken and passed and only 20% of LGV C+E licence holders are actually driving professionally.

None of these factors can be addressed overnight, and numerous companies have become complacent in this area. Many businesses have postponed the CPC periodic training of their drivers and this alone could mean a quarter of a million drivers being unable to drive professionally from September 2014.

Driving Business Forward

It is unlikely that this issue currently ranks highly in the list of priorities of operators at the present time. Many organisations are still focused on driving growth and cutting costs amidst the economic crisis, however, the shortage in drivers has the potential to jeopardise future opportunities. Businesses need to begin planning ahead if they do not want their businesses to stall before they have a chance to take off again.

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