Why this Trucking Crisis Has the U.S. and Canada Looking for More Drivers Abroad?
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6 Reasons Why Hiring Latin American Truck Drivers?
1. Because, it reduces the high rates of labor turnover a foreign employee that wants to work in Canada under the LMIA program needs to sign an exclusive contract with the company that requires him. Under such a contract, the worker is NOT allowed to change employer during the term fixed by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Thus, job stability is guaranteed, which ensures a higher return-on-investment ratio.
2. Because, Latin American truck drivers have a solid base in truck mechanics.
due to the fact that several routes are isolated: access to services in such places can be impossible and truck drivers cannot be helped on time. Such knowledge allows truck drivers to make correct and accurate diagnoses of the mechanical issues that may arise while driving through the routes of Canada and the United States.
3. Because, the Latin American roads are among the most demanding and dangerous roads of the world. Due to their steep geography and to the extreme climate conditions that demand highly qualified truck drivers with wide experience in safety and driving techniques, which corresponds to the ideal profile for the North American roads.
4. Because, the Latin American culture, habits, and customs are quite similar to the Canadian ones. This allows the processes of labor, social, and community adaptation and integration to be faster and more fluent in comparison with migrant workers from other countries whose lifestyles differ from the Canadian ones.
5. Because, unlike the trucks used in Europe and Asia, the trucks used in Latin America are mostly made in North America. Thus, truck drivers are well trained and experienced in the use of manual transmission and air brakes and the adequate handling of cargo.
6. Because, hiring truck drivers from Europe became increasingly difficult.
According to the report of the European Road Freight Transport in the United Kingdom, in 2018, in Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, the shortage of truck drivers rose up to 127,500, which is similar to the situation that Canada and the United States are currently dealing with. On the contrary, Latin American countries have many truck drivers to supply local demand. This allows a faster selection and hiring of qualified workers to fill the available truck driver positions in Canada.
TRUCK DRIVER SHORTAGE CRISIS IN CANADA
The first study on this situation was presented in a 41-page report carried out by a team of experts from the Conference Board of Canada in 2013, which concluded that between 4,000 and 7,000 drivers would be required by 2020; an average of 1,200 to 1,500 drivers per year. However, current studies by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) show how conservative these figures were, since the crisis has worsened over the years, and there are currently no short-term solutions. According to these latest reports, Canada's trucking labour shortage would reach 33,000 by 2020 and 48,000 by 2024 and a disquieting figure of more than 900,000 in conjunction with the United States over the next decade.
Since before the Covid-19 pandemic, the high demand for labour was known, but this pandemic has confirmed the needs that industries have to be able to fill their vacancies now and in the coming years.
As a result, many companies had to paralyze part of their activities, while other companies were compelled to reject new contracts, lose clients, or close down.
The companies, as well as the government, tried to, with limited results, adopt different strategies with the aim of modifying the perception of this profession in order to attract especially young people and women, who are still a minority in this industry.
• Weekends at home.
• Routes chosen as preferred by the truck driver.
• A working week of three or four days.
• Reimbursement of study expenses.
• Schedules that allow drivers to alternate work with study.