World in Need of More than 2.6 Million Truck Drivers

The transportation and trucking industry has been struggling with a driver shortage for years, and a new survey just revealed how bad it is. A recent report found a global shortage of more than 2.6 million commercial truck drivers. 


The IRU, a global transportation organization, identified that there was 2.6 million unfilled truck driving jobs in 2021. This was based on data from the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Europe, Eurasia, Turkey, Iran, and China. The report didn’t include data from Canada; however, the country is also experiencing a driver shortage. 


“It is a global issue,” said IRU business analyst Natalia Corchado, presenting the statistics during a June 27 webinar. The shortage is expected to intensify in 2022.


The report also found that in addition to open positions, certain demographics were severely underrepresented in the trucking industry. Women make up fewer than 3% of the global truck drivers. While these rates are higher in China (5%) and the U.S. (8%), it’s still a long way away from a 50% gender balance. 


Age demographics are also imbalanced in the industry. A vast majority of truck drivers are over the age of 55 and quickly approaching retirement age which will aggravate the driver shortage even more. Fewer than 7% of the world’s truck drivers are under 25. Canada faces a similar issue, with the country’s average truck driver age being 48. 


“The driver shortage is very real and only expected to get worse,” agreed Sutco Transportation president Doug Sutherland, chairman of the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s blue ribbon task force on the driver shortage.


Canada wasn’t included in the IRU data, however, it has more than 23,000 open truck driver jobs. That number could reach 55,000 by the end of 2024, according to Trucking HR Canada data. 


There is no simple solution to the issue. There are a number of barriers preventing a new generation of truck drivers from entering the industry, including minimum licensing ages preventing younger workers from starting. 


The good news is that driver wages are on the rise, making the positions more lucrative and enticing. At Nova Driver Services, we have a number of open commercial driving positions available with some of the top transportation companies in the country. If you’re interested in starting a lucrative career with lots of job security and growth potential, contact us today or check out our online driver job board