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Blue Ribbon Task Force and Drivershortage.ca

The Canadian Trucking Alliance’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Driver Shortage (BRTF) launched Drivershortage.ca, the first online resource in North America dedicated to information, education and research of the industry’s greatest long-term challenge – the looming, chronic shortage of qualified truck drivers.

The contemporary new website was unveiled at the CTA Spring Board Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. It builds on the goal set out by the BRTF to provide leadership in promoting the issue to industry and supply chain stakeholders, government officials and the general public.

“Drivershortage.ca is the only online, one-stop shop for everything related to the driver shortage situation affecting Canada and the U.S.,” says Mark Seymour, president of Kriska Transportation and chair of the BRTF. “It’s a multifaceted media repository of daily news, studies, videos, facts and statistics that reflect both the systemic and ancillary underpinnings of the driver shortage – from supply and demand to demographics, to pay issues and driver lifestyle. It presents from many different angles the challenges of maintaining the industry’s unmatched standard of service.”

Featured prominently on the website are two flagship reports on the truck driver shortage – a landmark report authored by the BTRF, which established a series of “core values” and guidelines to help alleviate the shortage and make the industry more attractive to potential new drivers; and the Conference Board of Canada’s comprehensive study quantifying the economic magnitude of the emerging gap between the supply and demand for professional drivers.

The site posts original news and aggregates print and video content from media sources on a variety of related topics that play into the capacity question, including: freight economy conditions; turnover, rates and compensation trends; demographics and immigration; recruitment and retention strategies; regulations; driver training and education and much more. Helpful topical facts and figures are easy to find on the website, as are additional studies and reports from a variety of academic and industry resources.

“There is no single bullet that will fix the driver shortage and, ultimately, market forces will decide what happens,” says CTA president David Bradley. “However, like the good work done on the BRTF report, Drivershortage.ca provides leadership and helps industry and its partners map out a coherent, cohesive direction on how to go about resolving these issues.”

Above all, adds Seymour, the tone of the website echoes the BTRF’s declaration that truck drivers are unequivocally the backbone of the industry. “They are our number one resource. Without them there is no industry,” he says. “Hopefully efforts like Drivershortage.ca will bring this dialogue out into open and help close the usual communication gaps that sometimes exist between drivers, carriers and our customers.”