OTTAWA, Feb. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Tens of thousands of truck drivers are
approaching retirement age, but very few young people and immigrants
are entering the industry. A new Conference Board of Canada report concludes that the gap between the supply of drivers and the demand for
them - estimated at 25,000 by 2020 - could be costly to the Canadian
"The food we eat, the goods that we enjoy and even the homes we live in
are in large part delivered by trucks. The inability to meet a huge
demand for drivers could be costly for the trucking industry, consumer
goods and the Canadian economy," said Vijay Gill, Principal Research Associate.
The age of the average truck driver is now higher than the age of the
average worker in Canada.
The expected gap between the supply and demand of drivers is 25,000 by
2020, but it could exceed 33,000.
A change in policy to recognize the truck driving occupation as a
skilled trade could attract more domestic and immigrant entrants into
The trucking industry moves 90 per cent of all consumer products and
food within Canada and 60 per cent of trade with the United States,
Canada's largest trading partner. It alone accounts for 33 per cent of
real gross domestic product (GDP) in the transportation sector. Most of
the demand for truck transport services is tied to the manufacturing,
retail and wholesale trade industries. Demand for goods and services
from retail industries is expected to grow significantly by 2020. The
trucking industry's real GDP is expected to increase from $17 billion
to $21.4 billion from 2011.
While truck drivers make up nearly 1.5 per cent of the Canadian labour
force—approximately 300,000 truck drivers overall—it struggles to
attract drivers to the for-hire industry. The for-hire industry is
comprised of companies that provide truck transportation services to
other companies. Drivers in the for-hire industry are often required to
work long hours, over long distances, and with unpredictable schedules.
Participation of young people, ages 15 to 24, has dropped off
significantly in the past decade. As a result, the average truck
driver's average age has increased from 40 years in 1996 to 44 years in
2006, an average that surpasses that of many comparable occupations.
This report, Understanding the Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap and Implications
for the Canadian Economy, was funded by the Canadian Trucking Alliance, a federation of
provincial trucking associations.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448