The lack of truck drivers is becoming increasingly serious. An initiative of 14 associations now pointed to this dangerous situation and warned against a supply collapse.
DThe situation is becoming increasingly acute. Already in recent years, transport and logistics associations warned of an increasing driver shortage. Recently, this has already led to some bottlenecks in delivery. The numbers are already alerting. Every year about 67,000 drivers in Germany retire or look for another job. At the same time, however, companies are only able to recruit 27,000 new drivers. This creates an annual gap of about 40,000 drivers. According to statements of the 14 federations, among them also the Federal association goods traffic logistics and disposal (BGL), the federation wholesale, foreign trade and services (BGA), the federation of the German industry (BDI) and the federation of package & express logistics (BIEK), this is already causing acute bottlenecks in the entire logistics industry. This in turn has grave consequences for the entire German economy and society.
Five points to success
The initiative presented Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer with a five-point plan to make the job of the truck driver more attractive again. A higher appreciation of the profession in society and the economy is at the top of the list. Increasingly, truck drivers complain that they are treated unfairly at the ramps. The same is increasingly true in road traffic. At the same time, they often need a long time to find a parking space on the highways, while the driving and rest periods sit on their necks. These are not nice circumstances for newcomers. The legend of the king of the highway is long gone.
The fact that the professional associations react so late with a joint action, however, is amazing. Already for a few years, this resulting gap is known. It was caused by demographic change alone. So far, however, there were always only words of warning from individual associations, which more or less vanished unheard. Maybe the reminder will now be heard by the political Berlin, because ultimately this is about a general social problem.
The five-point plan
- Increase the attractiveness of the driver’s profession – higher appreciation, fairer handling at the ramp, better pay, better work-life balance
- Improve and strengthen training and qualification – accelerate basic qualification, make vocational training more modern and attractive, faster acceptance of foreign driving licenses
- Supporting driver recruitment – comprehensive image campaign, occupation must be included in expert bottleneck analysis, occupation should play a greater role in schools
- Improving infrastructure / accelerated planning – Road conditions, optimizing parking spaces, improving construction site management, faster implementation of projects
- Comprehensive digitization – better networking of processes in the transport sector, nationwide expansion of the digital infrastructure, creation of data standards