A recent study indicated that Canadians are aware the current truck driver shortage directly impacts their supply chains and many hold the men and women who haul their goods and materials in high esteem.
“Canadian truck drivers were widely recognized as essential workers during the pandemic. But it’s very clear that even as we return to normalcy, the trucking industry and the impact our hard-working trucking drivers make in the everyday lives of Canadians, is still immensely appreciated and valued,” Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski reportedly said.
An Abacus Research study demonstrated the majority of Canadians consider truck freight transportation the most essential way to move goods and materials. With 51 percent pointing to trucking as the most important mode, rail ran a distant second at 19 percent followed by air at 18 percent and marine shipping at 13 percent. A deep dive into the Abacus survey shows that 76 percent of Canadians rank trucking among the top two most important modes of freight transportation.
“The impact of the truck driver shortage on the Canadian public and their ability to access food and other crucial products is very real and it is not going unnoticed,” Canadian Trucking Alliance director of policy & public affairs Jonathan Blackham reportedly said. “There is no doubt that the Canadian public has made the connection between shrinking labor in trucking, supply chain disruptions and product shortages on store shelves. It’s now time to act.”
Canadian officials have implemented a number of policies to onboard the next generation of truckers. Outreach programs to encourage more female truckers have been rolled out. Canada has also created programs such as Express Entry to encourage foreign CDL holders to immigrate. Policies to fast-track immigrants and CDL educational incentives appear to be in sync with the Abacus Research survey findings that include the following.
- Sixty-five percent of Canadians indicated trucking suffers a severe or moderate labor shortage.
- In Quebec, 38 percent state the driver shortage is severe.
- Upwards of 93 percent of Saskatchewan/Manitoba respondents consider trucking a top two essential occupation.
- More than 60 percent of all Canadians state the driver shortage has a major impact on food supply chains.
“The trucking transportation industry has an economic multiplier effect and a reach into other industries far beyond what many jobs out there have. We’ve always tried to make the case that investing in the trucking industry isn’t just an investment in that industry, it’s an investment in all industries that rely on services that need those trucks to get everything from business inputs and raw materials, or their final goods to market,” Blackham reportedly said. “Virtually everything has traveled on a truck at some point in time.”