Truck driver shortage disrupts logistics industry
WAREHOUSING & LOGISTICS

Truck driver shortage disrupts logistics industry

The Indian logistics industry is experiencing a significant shortage of long-haul truck drivers. Many drivers are leaving the profession, and numerous young people are not interested in becoming truck drivers.

Fleet operators and industry associations have reported that the truck-to-driver ratio has dropped to an alarmingly low level of about 55:100, compared to 75:100 a few years ago.

Several factors contribute to the high attrition rate and deter many from the younger generation from joining the profession. These factors include low pay scales, harassment by highway authorities and police, adverse weather conditions, accident risks, lack of work benefits, and insufficient hygienic restrooms and night parking facilities.

In addition, a lack of respect for the profession, long periods away from home, and less demanding job options like cab driving are also reasons many drivers, primarily from Tier 2 and 3 cities, do not want to drive heavy trucks.

Balasubramanian A, vice president of TeamLease Services, stated that there are about 6 million trucks actively being used on Indian roads, but the number of drivers is approximately 3.6 million. He noted that the truck-to-driver ratio is currently 1:0.6, whereas it was around 1:1.3 in the 80s and 90s. He added that at least 2 million trucks are not being actively used due to the driver shortage.

Balasubramanian explained that truck drivers spend nearly 20-25 days away from home each month, work in poor conditions, and that more than 50% of them develop some medical condition. He mentioned that they do not receive good pay, with most truck drivers not wanting their children to enter the profession. The average salary for truck drivers is about Rs 20,000-25,000 per month, whereas city cab drivers, who have less strenuous jobs, earn between Rs 20,000-30,000.

Industry officials indicated that the crisis has worsened in the past 2-3 months due to the extreme summer, with many drivers falling ill or not reporting to duty. Abhishek Gupta, General Secretary of the All India Transporters Welfare Association, stated that the driver shortage has been a particular concern this year due to the extreme weather conditions. He added that most regions report drivers returning to their villages for weddings or voting, causing many vehicles to be idle. Gupta noted that the shortage is more acute in the medium and heavy truck segments.

The Indian logistics industry is experiencing a significant shortage of long-haul truck drivers. Many drivers are leaving the profession, and numerous young people are not interested in becoming truck drivers. Fleet operators and industry associations have reported that the truck-to-driver ratio has dropped to an alarmingly low level of about 55:100, compared to 75:100 a few years ago. Several factors contribute to the high attrition rate and deter many from the younger generation from joining the profession. These factors include low pay scales, harassment by highway authorities and police, adverse weather conditions, accident risks, lack of work benefits, and insufficient hygienic restrooms and night parking facilities. In addition, a lack of respect for the profession, long periods away from home, and less demanding job options like cab driving are also reasons many drivers, primarily from Tier 2 and 3 cities, do not want to drive heavy trucks. Balasubramanian A, vice president of TeamLease Services, stated that there are about 6 million trucks actively being used on Indian roads, but the number of drivers is approximately 3.6 million. He noted that the truck-to-driver ratio is currently 1:0.6, whereas it was around 1:1.3 in the 80s and 90s. He added that at least 2 million trucks are not being actively used due to the driver shortage. Balasubramanian explained that truck drivers spend nearly 20-25 days away from home each month, work in poor conditions, and that more than 50% of them develop some medical condition. He mentioned that they do not receive good pay, with most truck drivers not wanting their children to enter the profession. The average salary for truck drivers is about Rs 20,000-25,000 per month, whereas city cab drivers, who have less strenuous jobs, earn between Rs 20,000-30,000. Industry officials indicated that the crisis has worsened in the past 2-3 months due to the extreme summer, with many drivers falling ill or not reporting to duty. Abhishek Gupta, General Secretary of the All India Transporters Welfare Association, stated that the driver shortage has been a particular concern this year due to the extreme weather conditions. He added that most regions report drivers returning to their villages for weddings or voting, causing many vehicles to be idle. Gupta noted that the shortage is more acute in the medium and heavy truck segments.

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