Transport sector relies on Ukrainians, delivery times may be longer –

Transport sector relies on Ukrainians, delivery times may be longer –

The war in Ukraine is hitting the European transport sector, which is heavily dependent on hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian truck drivers. Some truck drivers don’t leave the country anymore, while others just want to go back to defend their country. The driver shortage is expected to increase in an industry where the workforce is already small.

IRU, an international transport organization, estimates that about 12,000 truck drivers were stranded in Ukraine this weekend. Evofedex, the association of entrepreneurs in trade and logistics, warns of driver shortages and expects results on all journeys. Companies expect delivery delays.

This Ukrainian pilot returns from the Netherlands to fight:

The FNV union fears that the workload will become too high for drivers, who now have to make do with far fewer colleagues. “We are talking to drivers who have not left Ukraine or are waiting for their families to join them in the EU,” said Edwin Atema of FNV. “But most of the stories we hear are about drivers returning to Ukraine, abandoning their trucks and joining the military.”

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian truck drivers work in the EU via Poland or Lithuania. Atema of FNV: “If you look at the cab of a Polish or Lithuanian truck, there is an 80% chance that there is a Ukrainian driver on board. Work permits in Poland are selling like hot cakes. Because of the conscription, almost all Ukrainians have a large driver’s license and those are cheap papers.”

Beryl ter Haar, professor by special appointment of European corporate law at the University of Groningen and professor at the University of Warsaw, explains it as a kind of East-West transmission system. “People in Western Europe are often highly educated, but as a result we have a shortage of skilled employees. Practically educated people from Eastern Europe who speak some German or English see opportunities to earn more in the West. As result. Poland, for example, is filled as much as possible with workers from non-EU Eastern European countries or Asia.”

According to Ter Haar, employment agencies in Poland have reacted wisely. “It has become a business model. For example, if someone from Ukraine gets a work permit in Poland, an employment agency can be set up in Poland and serve the rest of the European labor market.” Ukrainians are very attractive to Poland because the languages ​​are close to each other.

According to Ter Haar, the demand for labor is not the reason why Poland opened its borders in this way. “Mutual solidarity because of a common history and fear of Russia.”

Truckers also share their solidarity with their Ukrainian colleagues on social networks:

But is there a threat of product shortages in the Netherlands? “If too much capacity is lost in the area, other drivers may have to compensate with an extra night shift or fewer days off,” says Henk van der Wal, director of freight logistics company Van der Wal. However, this cannot be sustained for long and delivery times could be extended across Europe if no other solution is found.”

Evofedex is looking for additional benefits at European level for drivers who have to work longer and for drivers who are stuck somewhere.

FNV member Atema is especially concerned about the fate of motorists: “I think the same will happen during the corona period when the borders are closed. driving will have to continue anyway. Now we have a case of drivers driving almost 347 days in a row.”

Source: NOS