Who is doing the heavy lifting?
They say road transport is the backbone of the economy. And there’s a reason for that.
Road transport is a vital means of delivering goods to people, connecting businesses and supporting economies.
Goods come in many shapes and sizes and are transported across various distances.
As the only door-to-door solution, road transport’s versatility allows it to cover both long and short distances, from long-haul to last mile deliveries.
Without trucks, freight transport will grind to a halt.
Trucks transport about 77% of the EU’s total freight volume.
But this – already high – figure is based on the amount of weight moved over a distance, known as the tonne-kilometre (tkm) measure.
This approach, by definition, tilts the figures in favour of modes that move heavy weights over very long distances.
If freight transport volumes were measured in monetary terms, the share of road transport would be much higher. To measure sustainability more accurately, relevant monetary measurements should be favoured over the distance and weight approach.
These measures, whether in tkm or monetary terms, illustrate the indispensable role of trucks in getting goods to people and keeping supply chains ticking.
However, truck operations are under threat by the chronic shortage of drivers.
As reported in IRU’s driver shortage surveys in recent years, the truck driver profession has an ageing population, with a limited share of both young people and women.
Without action to improve the accessibility and attractiveness of the profession, transport operations – and the people, communities and economies that rely on them – could be under significant threat in the years to come.
But there are proven solutions to prevent the shortage from escalating.
Solutions include harmonising the minimum driving age at 18, subsidising licence and training costs for new drivers, and building more safe and secure truck parking areas.
Join us for our online webinar – on 18 October – for the latest best practices to attract more young people and women to the profession.
We’ll start the webinar with a rundown of the current and forecasted truck driver shortage figures.
September’s figure of the month is based on IRU’s members-only EU Road Freight Transport Trends Intelligence Briefing.
The Briefing breaks down EU road goods transport trends, offering insights into the national versus international transport split, freight volume distribution by country, type of goods and distance travelled, and much more.