DriverShortage.ca was launched in 2013 by the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) on the Driver Shortage as a one-stop information, research and media portal dealing with what many carriers say is the industry’s greatest long-term challenge – the looming, chronic shortage of qualified truck drivers.
In 2012 the BRTF released an eye-opening report, which is arguably the most comprehensive and honest attempt by the trucking industry to tackle the burning questions surrounding the driver shortage. The report has garnered world-wide attention and establishes the guiding principles that will underpin the Canadian trucking industry’s long-term efforts to examine and confront the issues and concerns contributing to the shortage.
The CTA Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Driver Shortage is chaired by Mark Seymour, President, Kriska Transportation (ON) and comprises trucking company executive from across Canada:
Paul Easson, CEO, Eassons Transport, NS
Gord Peddle, President, Atlantica Diversified, NF
Pierre Aubin, President, L’Express du Midi, QC
Brian Taylor, President, Liberty Linehaul, ON
Glenn Ertell, Branch Manager, Northern Resource Trucking, SK
Don Streuber, President & CEO, Bison Transport, MB
Bruno Muller, President, Caron Transport, AB
Ed Malysa, President, Trimac Transportation, AB
Carl Rosenau, President, Rosenau Transport, AB
Kevin Johnson, Vice-President, Coastal Pacific Xpress, BC
Secretariat and other assistance provided by CTA President & CEO David Bradley; Bob Dolyniuk, Executive Director of the Manitoba Trucking Association and Ron Lennox, CTA Vice President.
CALL TO ACTION
There continues to be diverging opinion concerning the issues that underpin the truck driver shortage — demographics of the driver population; truck driving is not considered a skilled occupation outside the industry; a traditional “piece work” pay system; the burden of inefficiencies of the freight system placed onto the backs of drivers; an unpopular lifestyle; and increasing regulatory barriers and constraints.
There is no clear consensus on how to immediately solve these and other problems. But through the creation of DriverShortage.ca, the CTA’s Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) on the Driver Shortage aims to educate, inform and provide leadership toward establishing a coherent direction for moving forward on the issue.
Like the BTRF’s eye-opening report (link) on the issue in 2011, DriverShortage.ca is based on a series of core values. For starters: While involvement from all aspects of the supply chain and support from government is critical, ultimately the onus for driving solutions lies with the carriers – the entities that hire drivers and who price their service and deal with their customers. As well, the BRTF and DriverShortage.ca unequivocally declare that drivers are the industry’s number one resource; its backbone. They are deserving of respect since without them there is no industry.
Other core values part of the BTRF and DriverShortage.ca include;
- Truck drivers should be paid for all the work that they do and earn enough to cover all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses as well as have an improved ability to predict what their weekly pay is going to be; compensation packages need to be competitive and more transparent.
- Drivers’ time at work should not be wasted — at shipper/consignee premises, waiting for their trucks in the shop, or waiting for a response to a question of their carrier;
- Driver wellness should be a top priority for employers;
- A minimum standard of entry level, apprenticeship or apprenticeship-like truck driver training should be mandatory;
- Truck driving should be considered a skilled trade and be recognized as such by the various levels and branches of government, standards councils.