The 166,000 new vacancies were filled by truckers from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia working in Europe who may have left their jobs due to the conflict, according to data provided to Efe by the International Transport Association (Astic) based on the study. “The European reference for the evolution of road freight rates”.
Among the impacts that have been and will be felt after the invasion of Ukraine is a further loss of labor in the logistics sector in Europe, where availability has long been an issue, especially for drivers. heavyweight professionals, due to several factors that make this profession unattractive.
And not only in Europe, but also in other parts of the world, such as Japan or even the United States.
These factors include the high financial cost of entering the profession, the physical hardship it requires, the working conditions offered, the stagnation of salaries and the lack of social recognition of the profession.
In Spain, there is also the enormous fragmentation of the road freight transport sector, which has more than 104,000 companies, of which only 4% are large companies.
According to the study, carried out in April by Upply, Ti and the World Transport Organization (IRU), of which Astic has been an active member since 1960, between 80,000 and 100,000 jobs in the transport sector were vacant at the end of Last year. United Kingdom, 80,000 in Poland, between 57,000 and 80,000 in Germany, 71,000 in Romania and 34,000 in France.
Spain is the other country with the most vacancies, as they fell from 15,000 to between 18,000 and 20,000.
The pandemic may have contributed to this, which has slowed new registrations in 2020 as fewer driving tests are taken, while e-commerce has exploded, which in turn has increased demand for transport mobility road.
Spain is followed by Italy, which needs 17,000 to 20,000 professional drivers, followed by Lithuania, where there is a shortage of 10,000, the Netherlands (7,000) and Belgium (4,000).
Poland and Lithuania are the European Union (EU) countries that employ the largest number of non-EU drivers. Of a total of 228,000 certified professional truck drivers in circulation at the end of 2020, 103,000 (45%) were issued in Poland and 67,000 (29%) in Lithuania.
In Poland, almost 30% of drivers working in international transport are foreigners and mostly from non-EU countries, of which about 75% are Ukrainians and about 20% Belarusians.
However, some Polish freight operators claim that up to 80% of their drivers come from these countries and are therefore “desperate” to fill all these vacancies, according to the report.
This high level of employment of mainly non-European citizens is due to its natural proximity to Poland and the absence of significant cultural differences.
Due to the shortage of national personnel, the Polish government provided jobs for citizens of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova, who also obtained work permits for foreigners.
In Lithuania, most of these third-country drivers are also Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians.
After the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine announced a military state of emergency, which automatically banned men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country.
Those in the country at the time, including those working as truck drivers, were unable to leave, while many others living abroad returned to Ukraine.
There were also cases where, given the situation, the residence or work permits of Russian and Belarusian drivers were not extended, while some employers in Europe terminated employment contracts with truck drivers of these two countries.
Moreover, Russian and Belarusian drivers are also reluctant to drive in Europe and return to their home countries.
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