Members of IRU’s Commission on Social Affairs (CAS) gathered in Brussels and virtually to discuss key issues facing the road transport sector.
During the IRU CAS meeting, participants focused on solutions to driver shortages, which have become a permanent challenge for Europe’s road transport and logistics industry.
In Europe, 10% of truck driver positions were unfilled in 2021, representing between 380,000 and 425,000 driver vacancies. The shortage is estimated to increase further, reaching 14% of unfilled driver positions by the end of 2022.
Without action to make the driver profession more accessible and attractive, Europe could lack over two million drivers by 2026, impacting half of all freight movements and millions of passenger journeys.
IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian said, “Improving the treatment of drivers at loading and unloading sites to boost the attractiveness of the driver profession in Europe, particularly for young people and women, is a key objective of the recently relaunched IRU vision and action plan.”
The IRU Vision and Action Plan on Improving Attractiveness of the Drivers’ Profession in the EU is an important step to promote the efficiency and safety of tasks performed by drivers at collection and delivery sites, ensuring mutual respect among all parties.
One of the pillars of this initiative is to ensure that drivers are treated with respect and enjoy decent working conditions, starting at delivery sites. This includes access to sanitary facilities, break rooms as well as safe and secure parking areas.
As a key part of this pillar, the meeting looked at renewing efforts to expand the IRU’s Driver Charter.
All interested parties are encouraged to join the Charter and lead by example. Signatories will contribute to making the industry a better place to work and must commit to improving current working conditions.
The Drivers’ Charter is backed by the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the Global Shippers’ Alliance, the European Shippers’ Council, and the European Transport Workers' Federation.
“Over 400 companies have signed on to the Charter so far. Signatories commit to ameliorating working conditions, actively helping to make the road transport industry a better place to work, and tackling the shortage of drivers,” concluded Raluca Marian.