Global Trucking Trends: Europe’s driver shortage a focus during Year of Skills

Europe’s shortage of truck drivers will be in the spotlight this year as the European Commission recognizes the Year of Skills, officially launched during Europe Day on May 9.

According to IRU reports, the continent’s existing shortage of 600,000 bus and truck drivers will expand to almost 2 million personnel by 2026 if existing trends are not addressed.

“The EU needs to promote reskilling and upskilling to boost the competitiveness of companies and realize the digital and green transitions,” Raluca Marian, IRU director – EU advocacy, said in a press release.

“As proposed by the EU, a special focus must be put on engaging more people, particularly women and young people, in the labor market.”

One focus is to attract workers from outside the EU, and the IRU is calling for a framework to attract, train and exchange third-country driving licences.

DHL eActros
DHL Freight has been testing a Mercedes-Benz eActros 300 tractor, hauling 12 tons of production material between a Hagen terminal and Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel, covering 350 km per day (Photo: DHL)

In other global trucking news:

  • Iveco Group securing control of JV – Iveco Group is securing full ownership of its joint venture with Nikola Corporation, in place since 2019, for US$35 million and 20.6 million shares in Nikola stock. It will also maintain access to the vehicle control software for jointly developed trucks, while Nikola will be able to license Iveco S-Way technology in North America.
  • DHL Freight in electric test — DHL Freight has been testing a Mercedes-Benz eActros 300 tractor, hauling 12 tons of production material between its Hagen terminal and Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel, Germany, covering 350 km per day. The trucks are equipped with three battery packs, each offering 112 kWh, supporting a range of up to 220 km per charge. Findings from the test will be used to plan for CO2-neutral deliveries to the plant, which is recognized as a global center of competence for electric drive systems and conventional commercial vehicle axles.
  • Searching for global safety standards — Together for Safer Roads has launched the Fleet Trucking Global Safety Standards Initiative with the goal of developing a set of shared fleet trucking safety standards for critical safety instruments and technologies such as telematics, pedestrian detection systems, automatic braking, airbags, side curtain airbags, side view mirrors, and seatbelts. “We know from fleet trucking experts that there are no universally shared industry standards for these safety instruments,” said Peter Goldwasser, executive director. “Our goal is to change that.”

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