The crisis of the lack of professional drivers is present throughout Europe and is seriously affecting our sector. The main reason for this growing shortage of drivers is that the profession is not attractive enough and newer generations are less and less interested in accessing it.
Why are we missing professional drivers?
- Average age of the group: the legal age to enter the profession in Spain is 21 years old, so potential young candidates head in other employment directions and, once located in other sectors, it is difficult to reconsider their employment situation.
- Training: despite drivers’ wages being up to five times the average minimum wage, the high licence costs and a lack of training are yet another obstacle to the profession.
- Working conditions: the lack of infrastructure and safe, high-quality rest areas so that drivers can work in decent working conditions also represents a significant barrier for the sector. Also the lack of family reconciliation due to the long trips that force many drivers to spend nights away from their homes.
- The role of women: In Spain, women represent a very low percentage of lorry drivers, mainly due to job insecurity and the lack of family reconciliation.
How to help turn this situation around?
All the stakeholders involved in the sector should commit as much as possible to make the driving profession more accessible and attractive.
On behalf of the Spanish public authorities, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) stresses the need to facilitate access to the profession, setting the minimum age for driving at 18 years, with training starting at age 17, subsidising permit costs and training for new drivers and building safer parking areas.
At Calsina Carré, as carriers with more than 50 years of experience, we are also committed to the crisis in the sector and we are doing our part to help solve it:
1. Creation of a logistics hub with decent services for drivers and secure parking (Calsina Carré Services): 400 secure parking spaces with 24-hour video surveillance and 150,000 m2 of facilities with high-quality services for drivers in Pont de Molins (15 km from the French border): gas station, tyre assistance, specific repairs, car wash, shower modules, vending space to eat, Wi-Fi, laundry service, space for suitcases/personal belongings and rest area.
We participate in the European secure parking network giving a clear focus on safety and quality and backed by the EU Gold certificate following EU standards.
2. We promote reconciliation and remuneration in accordance with the driver’s responsibility: we respect, plan and remunerate the actions of the professional driver. We recognise and remunerate any special permit and action that entails more responsibility or demand. We also limit the obligations of the driver at the destination and origin of cargo.
3. We compensate using alternative means: we promote intermodality as a lever for capacity and we redefine the role of the driver in shorter domestic sections that allow for an earlier return home.