Truckers, 20,000 are missing: because this is happening

Distance from home and salaries are among the top reasons. However, these are combined with other variables that weigh on road freight transport such as the cost of fuel

Alessandro Conti


– Milan

There is a hunger for truckers. This is certainly not new news which, however, can now pay off with the cost of fuel and put the road freight transport sector in serious difficulty. If the dynamics of diesel prices could also subside if not invetire, the problem of the lack of drivers remains, a question certainly not only Italian. However, in our country it is particularly important given that about 3/4 of the goods are moved by road. And this is an increasing share. The demand for mobility in the first quarter of 2022 saw, as regards motorway freight transport, an increase of 7%, compared to what was observed in the same period of 2021. In this greater demand, electronic commerce, which has also grown thanks to the pandemic from Covid plays an important role.

Italian problem but not only

So the shortage of drivers equipped not only with a C license but also with the Cqc, or the driver qualification card, which enables you to drive vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tons over 45 km / h, could result in empty shelves in the supermarkets or in production chains that are stopped due to the absence of essential components. Just like it happened in the UK last winter. The generally accepted estimate is that there are around 20,000 drivers missing in Italy. Since this is a global phenomenon, some comparisons can be made: in the United States the shortage of truck drivers is 220,000 people, in Germany 40,000 people.

how much the driving license costs

The cost for the C license is about one thousand euros but with the Cqc it can be up to 3-4 thousand euros. Several companies are paying their training bills and there is no shortage of public funding such as the one constituted by the announcement of the Lombardy region that takes advantage of the European Social Fund. The call, however, expires on 30 June. Some companies ask for an exclusive commitment for a certain number of years against payment of the cost of the driving license. According to the data of the Register, the road haulage companies for third parties as of March 31, 2022 were 99,196. Of these, however, almost half are made up of so-called owners, ie owners and drivers of only one vehicle.

distance and salaries

“On the one hand, young people today are not interested in doing jobs that take them away from home. On the other hand, there is the issue of labor costs in Italy, the highest in Europe” explains Paolo Uggè, president of the Federation Italian hauliers (Fai) that adheres to Confcommercio. Which then touches on the issue of wages: “A young driver (but not only, ed) who deals with local distribution, and then returns home in the evening, barely reaching 2,000 euros net per month. The national team reaches 2,400-2,500 euros, those who go out of the country come close to 3,000 euros net per month “. Figures for which, obviously not everyone is willing to do this job.” non-taxable travel allowance limits “continues Uggè. Currently the driver who goes abroad receives on average between 47 and 48 euros per day to compensate for the inconvenience of having to be away from home.” Germany lives in our situation but has used drivers from Poland “continues president Fai. Then there is the topic of logistics:” If I have to wait 10 hours for the delivery of goods, in addition to being inefficient, I also induce the worker not to do this job. For example, always in Germany they have created a system that speeds up the delivery of goods “.

old circulating

Then there are other not insignificant issues on the plate. First of all that of the seniority of the circulating fleet. As of December 31, 2021, the vehicles exceeding 3.5 tons circulating in Italua were 4,290,042. Of these, only 4.1% with one year of life and 3.5% between one and two years. Most of it is made up of old vehicles; 17.4% between 10 and 15 years, 17.5% between 15 and 20 years, 16.7% 20 and 30 years, 9.8% between 30 and 40 years. “The interventions intended by the government for the refurbishment of the park in the last 2-3 years – continues Uggè – amounted to about 150 million euros. Those who benefited most from the contribution managed to take up to 15 thousand euros but a new vehicle costs between 130 and 150 thousand euros “.

expensive fuel

Another very hot topic is that of fuels. The cost of diesel (net of VAT and excise duties) increased by 273% from May 2020 to May 2022 (from 0.41 euro / liter to 1.12 euro / liter). In the first 5 months of 2022 it increased by 156% (from 0.72 euros / liter in January to 1.12 euros / liter in May 2022). This translates into a full tank that previously could cost around 1,300 euros and now is also 1,800 euros. “There is a theme that is often underestimated – concludes Uggè -. I can produce the best goods myself if they do not arrive as quickly as possible, my products remain on the yard and are no longer competitive”.

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