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Italy in search of 17,000 drivers: "We need the ad hoc flows decree"

The economic recovery that followed the serious pandemic crisis is now in danger of stopping because companies in the sector are unable to find drivers for their fleets and the problem is not only national, but European. "The increase in transport demand that comes from the production world, the need to combine increasingly tight delivery times with priority compliance with traffic safety regulations, the inefficiencies of the distribution system with unbearable increases in waiting times for unloading and an objectively complex state of infrastructure which in turn generates an increase in the delivery times of goods is creating an explosive mixture, amplified by the lack of drivers "- is the alarm cry of Thomas Baumgartner, President of ANITA, the Transport Association and Confindustria logistics.

Anita's proposal for an ad hoc decree

To address this issue, the association proposes some short and medium term measures. Among the former, the request to insert a quota dedicated to drivers in the flows decree, to favor the recruitment of immigrants among road haulage companies, stands out. Anita points out that this is not "the" solution to the problem, but it would make a positive contribution. Baumgartner explains: «Initially, freight transport was excluded from the flow decree. Then he was admitted, but together with other sectors, such as construction and hotels. However, the logistics quota was quickly exhausted by the other sectors. We ask for a quota reserved exclusively for drivers of heavy vehicles ». On this point Anita expects positive responses from the government.

Trucking in Great Britain

An example of how the road haulage situation could degrade comes from Britain, which is already suffering the consequences of a shortage of drivers exacerbated by Brexit. On the island, the large-scale distribution chains, which are experiencing serious problems in the supply of supermarkets, have unleashed a real “chauffeur hunt”, with incentives for new hires and wage increases. We have reached the 5,000 pounds annual increase offered by the John Lewis and Waitrose chains.

Lack of interest in the profession

The problem is linked to the absence of a generational change, the end of a cycle that the pandemic has accelerated. A report by the German trade union DSLV (one of the largest in Europe) reports that every year 30,000 drivers leave the profession - most of them to retire - but only 2,000 obtain professional qualifications in the same period. In the next fifteen years, two thirds of German road hauliers will retire and it will be impossible, if we do not intervene with active policies, to replace them all. As a result, companies have fleets less capable of responding to market demand, waiting times in logistics hubs and ports increase, motorways in these areas tend to queue up more often.

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