This Won’t Be the Last Time You Hear About the Driver Shortage

New research reveals a likely increase of 40% in the driver shortage by the end of the year.

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Despite companies' efforts to provide more incentive for driver recruitment and retention, higher wages from last year will not help ease the driver shortage for 2022. A new survey from IRU shows that we will see a surge in the shortage this year by 40%, caused by tight labor markets and high-demand following pandemic restrictions. Additionally, the gap between old and young workers continues to grow. 


  • In Europe, they jumped by 42% from 2020 to 2021, with open unfilled driver positions reaching 71,000 in Romania, 80,000 in both Poland and Germany, and 100,000 in the UK. In Mexico shortages increased by 30% to reach 54,000; in China by 140% to reach 1.8 million. Higher driver wages in 2021, especially in Europe and the US, have not led to fewer shortages.
  • Young drivers under 25 remained a small minority, at 6 or 7% of the truck driver population, in most regions. On the other hand, there are between two and five times more older drivers over 55 in all regions, except for China and Mexico. In the US and Europe, older drivers make up around one third of the workforce. Europe has the highest average driver age, at 47.
  • According to road transport operators, the current driver shortage crisis is caused by a lack of skilled drivers in all regions, except for China and Turkey, which cited driver conditions and the profession’s image respectively as the main causes.