Poland lacks 150,000 truck drivers
Poland’s road freight market is experiencing an acute shortage of truck drivers. According to the Szczecin-based Northern Chamber of Commerce, there is a lack of at least 150,000 specialists. If there is no solution to the issue, it could cause stagnation in several sectors of the economy.
Experts of the Northern Chamber of Commerce directly admit that such a dramatic situation in the transport sector has not yet occurred. According to estimations, there is a shortage of at least 150,000 people on the labour market ready to work as professional drivers. “There is a shortage of drivers on domestic and international routes, in public transport, practically anyone who has the right and willingness to work will find employment in this profession without much problem,” said Hanna Mojsiuk, the president of the Northern Chamber of Commerce in Szczecin (Północna Izba Gospodarcza w Szczecinie).
At the same time, the umbrella organisation considers that the problem is exacerbated week by week. “Currently, there is no logistics company in Poland that does not want to hire drivers. There is a shortage of drivers in international freight forwarding, but there are also serious shortcomings in local government structures and companies dealing, for example, with public transport. The biggest problem is that the profession of a skilled driver is not attractive to young people. Recruitment is very weak, completely inadequate to the great needs of the labour market,” added Hanna Mojsiuk.
Another factor that creates more obstacles for the Polish road freight market is the war in Ukraine, which resulted in the outflow of Ukrainian drivers from Poland to their home country. Some hauliers even think about searching for truck drivers in Asia. ” There are very few drivers, companies are looking more and more seriously for employees from countries such as the Philippines. We must also not forget that demographics cannot be fooled. Professional drivers are just getting older and we are also seeing more and more people retiring here,” explained Jerzy Gębski from Enterprise Logistics.
To tackle the driver shortage, Poland’s logistics sector requires the development and implementation of system solutions. It could be the use of longer semi-trailers, the shift of some volumes from road to rail or other modes of transport, etc. Otherwise, this problem could result in a more serious issue for Poland and its economy. “Poland is a logistic and transport power, companies cope as much as they can but staff shortages are an increasingly perceptible problem. The lack of drivers may throw us off the position of an international leader,” noted Laura Hołowacz, CEO of the CSL Group.