Acute shortage of 20,500 drivers; Immediate action required to address adverse impacts on Canada’s economy
TORONTO (March 11, 2020) – Trucking HR Canada (THRC) released its newest Labour Market Information (LMI) report today titled The Road Ahead: Addressing Canada’s Trucking and Logistics Industry Labour Shortage at a national launch event with attendance by industry executives, and sector stakeholders. Developed in partnership with The Conference Board of Canada and working with various leading research firms, industry stakeholders and other subject matter experts, this comprehensive study measures and assesses the full trucking and logistics industry — providing the most informed analysis to date concerning critical labour gaps and the adverse impacts on the Canadian economy.
Emerging key themes include the urgent need to increase the number of long-haul drivers, increase women’s participation, develop approaches to effectively reach millennials, and identify best practices that specifically support better recruitment and integration of more diverse labour talent.
KEY FINDINGS: QUANTIFYING THE SHORTAGE AND IMPACT
The Road Ahead: Addressing Canada’s Trucking and Logistics Industry Labour Shortage reveals that:
- In recent years, the trucking and logistics sector employed 3.6% of Canada’s workforce, which translates into over 650,000 workers.
- Truck transportation industry average job vacancy was 6.8% in 2019; double the Canadian average of 3.3%, and highest among all industries (outside of crop production). Of particular concern – long-haul drivers had an exorbitant 9.4% average job vacancy rate.
- While truck drivers represent 46% of the industry, they account for 63% of its job vacancies.
- The total number of truck driver vacancies in Canada has increased over 138% between 2016 and the first three quarters of 2019 – escalating from 8,600 to 20,500 during this timeframe.
- Hiring is taking longer than anticipated by HR professionals, who are being bogged down with increased recruitment pressures and frustrations, and by more complex compliance issues.
- The driver shortage has directly led to delayed planned expansions by trucking operators, and resulted in lost sales in the truck transportation industry by an estimated 4.7% in 2018, equivalent to roughly $3.1 billion in lost revenues.
- Without meaningful action, vacancies are expected to soar to 25,000 by 2023, an increase of over 25% from 2019.
The report findings articulate the critical “supply vs. demand” driver shortage and inform the positive actions the industry is taking now and ongoing that demonstrate that trucking today is different.
“We are at a pivotal decision and action point,” stated Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada. “Good salaries in a growing sector, better work-life balance, investments in innovative technology and green-friendly initiatives are just some of the approaches we are taking. We need to do more to resolve industry challenges to ensure a stable and reliable trucking transportation network for the road ahead.”
THE IMPACTS OF CANADA’S CRITICAL DRIVER SHORTAGE ON CANADA’S ECONOMY
The trucking sector:
- Carries an estimated $550 billion worth of goods purchased by Canadians and more than $300 billion worth of Canadian goods destined to export markets.
- Generates well-paying middle-class jobs, employing more than 650,000 workers.
- Connects consumers, businesses and international markets that are vital to our economy’s stability and performance.
- Is integral to Canada‘s nine other critical infrastructure sectors: energy and utilities, information and communication technology, finance, health, food, water, safety, government, and manufacturing.
- Is a key element in our nation’s intermodal transportation network that links trucking, rail and shipping, and provides an essential contingency during disruptions in other transportation modes (i.e. rail).
“The acute shortage of truck drivers in Canada is felt beyond the trucking industry, confirmed Kristelle Audet, Principal Economist, The Conference Board of Canada. “Trucking is a lifeline for key industries such as forestry, agriculture, auto manufacturing, construction, as well as wholesale and retail.”
To download The Road Ahead: Addressing Canada’s Trucking and Logistics Industry Labour Shortage, please click here.
National Launch Event Webcast: Please click here to register and view the announcement.
Today’s report release is followed by a Workforce Knowledge Exchange event, which will take a deeper dive into the research findings, and have industry stakeholders provide input into solutions as we move forward.
March 12 marks Trucking HR Canada’s annual Women with Drive Leadership Summit – presenting and exchanging best practices to recruit and retain women. This national event follows a series of regional Women with Drive events engaging local industry members to examine regional challenges and opportunities.
This fall, the industry will launch a national campaign to recruit young workers and address out-dated misperceptions.
Stay tuned for our next labour market information releases, with more practical recommendations to keep this vital industry driving forward.