February 22, 2013 2:00 PM, EST
Truck Driver Shortage Could Hurt Canadian Economy, Study Says

Canada could experience a shortage of 25,000 to 33,000 for-hire truck drivers by 2020, disrupting not only the trucking industry but the entire Canadian economy, according to a new study released by Conference Board of Canada.

The report found that “tens of thousands” of current drivers are approaching retirement age, and there are “a very small number of young drivers taking their place,” according to Canadian Trucking Alliance, which commissioned the study.

CTA President David Bradley said the report “quantifies the magnitude of the emerging gap between the supply and demand for professional truck drivers — a looming shortage which could be 14% or more of the entire truck driver population in Canada.”

The report estimates that the total economic footprint of the for-hire trucking industry was almost $37 billion in 2011, resulting in an economic multiplier that is “significantly higher than that of many other business services,” CTA said in a statement.

For-hire trucking supports almost 480,000 jobs in Canada resulting in around $24 billion in income, which in turn generates $4.2 billion in personal income taxes and $4.1 billion in indirect taxes, CTA said.