QUINTANA ROO. “Being a truck operator is no longer attractive,” says Ramón Medrano, president of the National Chamber of Freight Transport (Canacar). From his perspective, in addition to the growing insecurity on the roads in Mexico, dedicating himself to driving a heavy vehicle no longer attracts the attention of today’s young people, since many of them are not even interested in learning to drive.
This is a global phenomenon. The International Road Transport Union (IRU, for its acronym in English) estimates that the country ‘s driver deficit amounts to 54,000 . Internationally, the deficit exceeds 2.6 million workers, a “massive” shortage that is reaching “crisis level.”
Canacar, which brings together the main transportation companies, estimates that by the end of this year the deficit of operators will rise to 56,000, generating a generalized impact on the economy, because more than half of the goods, from hydrocarbons to food, are move via highway.
In Mexico there is a fleet of almost 600,000 trucks -or cargo motor units, according to the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation-, and Canacar estimates that about 10% are parked due to the lack of operators.
50 or 40 years ago, families with one or more trucks were common. These were operated by the fathers, who were in charge of transporting merchandise from one point of the country to another. The children grew up and wanted to imitate the footsteps of the father. They also wanted to be operators of a large vehicle.
“Today the situation is very different, it is no longer the same,” says Medrano. Insecurity on the roads, which is on the rise, is a detractor for the new generations to want to be drivers , he says in an interview with Expansión , within the framework of the Canacar 2022 Convention.
According to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, the criminal incidence while performing this activity totaled 7,416 mishaps from January to July of this year, which meant an increase of 2.2% compared to the same period last year .
In addition to insecurity, the sector faces a big problem globally: young people do not consider truck driving as a career. The average age of drivers is 44, according to data from the Ministry of the Economy, and the current shortage will only get worse as these drivers retire, unless the industry can encourage millennials to get behind the wheel of the big boys. trucks.
Canacar created 23 operator creation centers, known as “seedbeds”, in addition to promoting the implementation of the Professional Technician career in Freight Transport Operator, in Tampico, Tamaulipas, with the expectation that about 90 students will graduate. per generation.
“We want to work together with society and with the government to make the operator profession really attractive and make it really profitable, because we are facing many challenges”, he highlights.