How to combat the shortage of drivers

We’ve all heard that the number of truck drivers has been decreasing. According to the International Road Transport Union (IRU), in Europe we have a shortage of 380,000 truck drivers. That’s about 10% of the total demand! 

That's led to different governments jumping into action to fix the problem. Let’s discover the actions that they're taking: 

What are countries doing? 

France - The French government announced a support package of 600 million euros to train people to become truck drivers. Also, France has improved their road services with free parking, showers and restaurants. 

Belgium - Belgium has started a social fund to provide free HGV driver training in Belgium. The training was previously for early school leavers, but now everyone can access the training. 

The Netherlands - Dutch drivers will get a pay rise. The proposed amount negotiated by trade unions was a 5% rise from January 2023 

Poland - Poland is making it easier for foreign people to work there as you’ll no longer have to show permanent residence when applying for a work permit. Also, the right of stay will increase from 6 to 24 months.  

UK - The UK Government is giving 8 million GBP to roadside facility operators to upgrade truck stops for lorry drivers. They’ve also allowed truck drivers to work 11 hours per day twice a week, instead of 8. 

Germany - The German Federal Association of Freight Transport, Logistics and Waste Disposal are asking for less red tape around drivers' licenses. They’ve also asked for more secure parking spaces for trucks to make it easier for drivers to take a break. Lastly, they’re suggesting that truck cabins have sanitary facilities added. 

Italy - Italy has started a ‘Driving license Bonus'. It offers people under 35 a voucher that covers up to €2,500 of the cost of training to be a HGV driver. This is equal to an 80% discount on training. 

Spain - Spain is training and hiring Moroccan truck drivers as well as giving a €600 subsidy to anyone who wants a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) 

Portugal - Portugal has banned drivers from carrying out loading and unloading duties. Instead, drivers must wait in areas with sanitary facilities.  


Every government is tackling the truck driver shortage in different ways, from allocating more money to the drivers, industry and education, to encouraging new demographics to take the wheel. It will be interesting to see which measures will be most successful. 

Until then it’s important that Carrier companies know the quick-win strategies available to them so they can continue their successes, even with a truck driver shortage.