Shortage of truck drivers and owner-operators after pandemic pause

With Canada trying to land back on its feet after facing the ongoing coronavirus, trucking businesses are getting ready to face an ever-present problem from scratch, insufficient drivers.

A study published in July shed light on the effect that the coronavirus has had on the trucking industry, showing a substantial reduction. With 34,700 truck drivers losing jobs during the pandemic, that number comes down to about 50% of total job losses. All this happened only in the first six months of 2020.

However, as the third quarter of the year started, things were quite different in Canada. With stage 3 of economic resumption in effect, companies started the hiring process again for drivers as transportation demands rose significantly across the continent.

Scarcity of Owner-operators

Majority of fleets are facing difficulties in contracting owner-operators.

The United States is being hit by the pandemic so badly that the majority of qualified drivers are not willing to take the trip south. Many of them prefer staying within Canadian borders. Due to the pandemic, hiring of drivers has become a lot worse than it used to be.

Job sites like Indeed are showing some of the highest ever rates for hiring owner-operators with many carriers offering high payments for operators with extremely low experiences (minimum 1 year) with cross-border shipping. This is an indication of how high the demand has become for this sector.

Non-issuance of U.S. Visas

The problem is further aggravated due to the decision taken by the United States to not issue work permits to drivers from Canada. Carriers are forced to entrust their shipments with temporary hiring and even students to meet their needs.
The visa process has resumed recently but there is a large buildup of applications waiting for processing.

Owner-operators with Cross Border Access

A lot of companies are providing significant incentives to owner-operators who can go to the United States. This makes it one of the best times for anyone to become an owner-operator.

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