The current situation in Ontario is being described as a “cataclysmic shortage of truck drivers”. In its updated report “Understanding the Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap”, the Canadian Trucking Alliance forecasts a shortage of 34 000 to 48 000 truck drivers by 2024. The COVID-19 pandemic has added demand and widened the gap.
“According to Statistics Canada’s Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, the truck transportation industry experienced an average job vacancy rate of 6.8% in 2019. This is the second highest vacancy rate among Canadian industries.”
The acute labour shortage of truck drivers is felt by many unfulfilled/vacant positions. In fact, the 2020 report TruckingHR Canada states that from the total number of truck driver vacancies in Canada more than doubled since 2016.
The food we eat, the goods that we enjoy and even the homes we live in are in a large part delivered by trucks. The inability to meet a huge demand for drivers will be costly for the trucking industry, consumer goods, and the Canadian economy. In short… it can tap the brakes on economic growth and create huge gaps in the delivery of the supplies we need for daily life.
The trucking industry is growing at a healthy rate increasing the number of jobs and low unemployment rates are creating a shortage. However the most important cause is the inability to replace the ageing workforce who are retiring and exiting the profession.
The Road Ahead: Addressing Canada’s Trucking and Logistics Industry Labour Shortages explains factors that have influenced the gap.
- 32% of truck drivers in Canada were 55 years or older, compared to 21% of the entire Canadian labour force.
- Only 3.4% of truck drivers are under 25 of age, compared to 12.7% across all occupations.
- The underrepresentation of women in the truck driver occupation is striking, with women making up only 3.5% of truck drivers, compared to 48.2% of employed Canadians
The regional data for the counites of SDG & PR proves that it is aligned with the provincial and Canadian statistics.
The country is reliant on truck drivers. This labour shortage threat also poses opportunities. It provides an agency like Tri-County Literacy Council the chance to support industry leaders in responding to the need by promoting, advocating, and implementing regional solutions and strategy-based efforts to lead people into a career in transportation.
Future blogs will be dedicated to exploring alternative means to marketing the industry. We will delve further into statistical realities while studying the pathways one may travel should they pursue this career. As funding sources and training opportunities surface, there will be more space for information.
Until next time, Take the Wheel.