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Labor, equipment shortage and Driver Inc. top executives’ concerns

An inability to procure new equipment, the labor shortage, and the ongoing Driver Inc. business model are the top issues facing Canadian fleet executives, according to a new Nanos survey.

The survey, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), included 36 senior executives representing companies operating more than 39,000 trucks.

Respondents said they are having to turn down loads as demand for their services exceeds what they can provide. Fleet execs said the supply chain is weaker than a year ago, preventing access to drivers, equipment, and parts.

Thirty-four of 36 respondents cited the labor shortage as their top concern.

“It’s been a couple of years that we have been recruiting abroad, and it hasn’t gotten easier; it’s actually been harder. We’ve been waiting for applications for a year-and-a-half. It takes a very long time,” one executive said.

An inability to source new equipment is also an issue. One respondent said: “I cannot buy a truck. I cannot buy a trailer for a couple of years. Trucks will be inoperable, but I still must make payments on them and that is happening today.”

Fleet execs also complained about the Driver Inc. business model, which misclassifies company drivers as independents to skirt certain taxes.

“The Driver Inc. model is one of the challenges that includes a lot of good drivers in (that system) who are being taken advantage. For all of us that remain in a non-Driver Inc. model for employees, we end up paying the (proper labor requirements), such as 10 sick days leave, etc.,” said one frustrated executive. “If the government says [Driver Inc.] is OK, then we will have to change our model as well.”

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