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Report sounds alarm over truck driver shortage as job vacancies rise

20,000 drivers needed, more than $3 billion in revenue lost in 2018: Report


March 11, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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Photo: WendellandCarolyn/Getty Images

A new report says Canada’s truck driver shortage has reached new heights, with job vacancies more than doubling since 2016.

The study from trade group Trucking HR Canada says a shortage of more than 20,000 drivers has hampered truck company expansions and hurt sales, costing nearly $3.1 billion in lost revenues in 2018.

Developed in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada, the report finds that job vacancy in the industry hit 6.8 per cent in 2019, more than double the Canadian average and the highest rate outside of crop production.

Conference board economist Kristelle Audet says an aging workforce, lack of female drivers and high turnover account for the growing problem.

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The industry is revving up its efforts to attract and retain younger employees as well as female big-riggers, who account for just 3.5 per cent of drivers.

Trucking HR Canada chief executive Angela Splinter highlights social media campaigns that stress more flexible schedules and better work-life balance, but says the sector needs to do more if it wants to head off a forecasted 25 per cent rise in job vacancies over the next four years.