Global driver shortage is to double in five years

After surveying more than 4,700 road transport companies in America, Asia, and Europe, which account for 72% of the world’s GDP, the IRU has to admit that the shortage of truck drivers has increased globally in 2023. The IRU’s 2023 preliminary results report showed that more than 3 million truck driver vacancies, or 7% of total number of vacancies, are not filled in the 36 countries surveyed.

The shortage is predicted to worsen significantly over the coming years. More than 7 million truck driver vacancies are likely to be unfilled by 2028, including 4.9 million in China (20% of the total number of positions), 745,000 in Europe and 200,000 in Turkey (17% and 28%, respectively).

The forecast is based on the fact that the massive gap between young and older drivers is increasing, the situation is going to get much worse over the next five years. The profession of truck driving is aging: today less than 12% of truck drivers are younger than 25 years (in Europe the figure is around 5%). The only countries with a higher proportion of drivers under 25 are China (17%) and Uzbekistan (25%).

In most of the studied countries, at least 50% of road transport operators have serious problems recruiting qualified drivers. Many of them are also unable to expand their businesses and are losing existing customers and revenue.