Addressing Europe’s trucking problems one driver at a time
Fleet managers - October 12, 2021
The issues facing Europe’s transport sector – and indeed the economy as a whole – are numerous and diverse. Addressing them will require solutions at different levels. Yet the key turning point of all these issues remains the drivers, and the conditions they work in. This is where the solution will be made or will break.
The truck driver shortage is a headline pretty much every day of the week at the moment. People are waking up to the fact that the supply chain has a very weak link, and if it breaks the damage could be immense.
People have pointed to the need for more drivers and therefore more training. At the same time, the existing drivers are pointing to the very many constraints that they have to face, such as paperwork, increasingly complex regulations and, high on the list, working conditions.
Conditions for truck drivers
Drivers have been complaining about conditions for years. Although wages are seeing an uptick and there is overall a far better understanding of the role of drivers in society, much as still to be done – notably on some of the more basic elements such as comfort and safety. Fewer than 3 percent of existing parking spaces are certified safe and secure.
Given that many older drivers are retiring, the arrival of new drivers is crucial moving forward. But as Pete White, of the UK’s Whites Transport Services, told Trans.info about the appalling condition of some truck stops, “How are we meant to make this industry appealing to new drivers when they will be faced with situations like this? The image of the freight industry makes attracting new drivers to the profession more difficult. The impact on supplier costs is transferred to consumer pricing, which affects the ability to overcome the economic crisis.
Facilitating the recruitment of truckers
Different approaches to easing the crisis are being taken. Regulations are being changed quite rapidly. Advanced technology can automate parts of trucking, which can reduce daily driving stress and boredom and attract young, tech-savvy drivers to the industry. Trucking companies are also looking for ways to entice more women and minorities – both of whom are overwhelmingly under-represented. Veterans are another source of “low-hanging fruit” as many are looking to transition into fulfilling careers.
Increase driving efficiency to decrease time on road
Increasing time at home and decreasing time on the road can take many of those “lifestyle” issues out of the equation. It is known, for example, that 86% of drivers lose 30 minutes trying to find a parking spot (and burning fuel to do so).
OTRA Park™ guarantees parking spot for drivers, reducing the time and uncertainty of finding safe and secure parking. The ability to choose parks with managed facilities also makes life on the road far easier to manage.
This, combined with the various regulatory and pay-related improvements, will enable the industry to stop the drain of drivers and attract more new ones over the years to come.
Contact at [email protected], our local partner is available to meet you, give you a demo and answer all your questions.
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