Staff shortages hamper more than half of the transport companies •

The labor market in the sector is struggling with staff shortages. That says an increasing number of entrepreneurs in road freight transport (52 percent in Q2 versus 46 percent in Q1) and logistics providers (34 percent in Q2 versus 30 percent in Q1). The number of vacancies remains high and the outflow of pensions continues to rise. The number of bankruptcies remains at a low level, and the influx of unemployment benefits from truck drivers and logistics staff is falling further. This is stated in the latest transport and logistics sector monitor.

The sector monitor monitors quarterly developments in the labor market for employees and employers who are members of SOOB / Pensioenfonds Vervoer. In addition to the quarter examined, the figures also partly relate to the current quarter in order to be in line with current developments. Sector Monitor was commissioned by the social partners TLN, VVT, FNV Transport en Logistiek and CNV Vakmensen. The implementation is in the hands of Sectorinstituut Transport en Logistiek (STL) and is possible thanks to SOOB.

STL: “At the same time, Sector Monitor shows that (beginning of 2022-2. Quarter) there are more transport entrepreneurs who expect an increase in their workforce in the next three months (27.7 percent) than entrepreneurs who expect a decrease “Expectations for the economic climate are negative.”

The number of vacancies for truck drivers and logistics staff in June 2022 will be higher than last year. By the end of 2021, the number of vacancies under lockdown decreased temporarily due to Omikron. In mid-June, there are almost 10,500 vacancies for drivers and more than 19,500 for logistics / warehousing staff (UWV, 2022).

The proportion of road transport entrepreneurs who experience an obstacle due to staff shortages remains very high. In 2022-Q1, more than half will experience an obstacle due to staff shortages (at the beginning of 2022-Q1 this share was 46 per cent and at the beginning of 2022-Q2 52 per cent).

According to CBS, many entrepreneurs in the various industries in the Netherlands state that they suffer from staff shortages. At the beginning of the second quarter, 34 per cent of entrepreneurs in the Netherlands indicated that they were hampered by this, compared with 13 per cent a year earlier. Furthermore, more and more entrepreneurs state that they are hampered by a lack of means of production, material and space. At the beginning of the second quarter, 19 percent indicated this (a record percentage). In freight transport by road, 15 per cent and in logistics 14 per cent mentioned this as an obstacle (CBS, 2022)

In the first quarter of 2022, there was a revenue growth in professional road transport of +16.4 percent and in logistics services +31.9.9 percent compared to 2021-Q1) (CBS, 2022). Throughout 2021, revenue in road freight transport grew by 11.5 percent compared to 2020. In 2020, the sector was hit by corona measures, and there was a revenue loss. From the second quarter of 2021, revenue was above the level before the initiatives.

Developments with regard to employees and employers associated with SOOB / PFV:

  • The number of companies increases year-on-year (7,478 companies in 2022-Q1 against 7,059 in 2021-Q1). The average number of employees per business falls (22.3 in 2022-Q1 against 22.7 in 2021-Q1). And the share of small businesses (up to 10 employees) is growing (in 2022-Q1, 63 percent of businesses will consist of up to 10 employees, compared to 60 percent in 2018-Q1).
  • The number of bankruptcies in 2022-Q1 is at the same (low) level as a year earlier (16 in 2022-Q1 and 2021-Q1). Throughout 2021, fewer companies went bankrupt in the sector than in 2020 (62 companies against 104).
  • The total number of bankruptcies in NL was also very low in 2021. According to CBS, the fact that fewer companies were declared bankrupt during the corona period cannot be seen separately from the emergency support from the government. In 2022, the number of bankruptcies in NL will remain (historically) low. In April 2022, the number of bankruptcies reached its lowest level since the start of the January 1981 time series (CBS, 2022).
  • The total number of employees in the sector is 166,535 in 2022-Q1 (compared to 157,708 in 2021-Q1). The number of employees decreased slightly compared to the previous quarter (-0.7 percent). In 2022-Q1, the inflow is 9,889 and the exit is 8,148. The age peak for the influx is 21 and for the relocation it is 66 years. The number of drivers remains at a level comparable to last year. There are 91,730 drivers in 2022-Q1 (and 91,724 in 2021-Q1).
  • The outflow to retirement in 2022-1. quarter will be at a level comparable to last year. The pension output in 2021 and 2020 will be significantly higher than in previous years.
  • The average age of non-driver employees drops to 39.5 years compared to last year, and the average age of drivers continues to rise to more than 45 years.
  • The proportion of part-time employees is increasing among both drivers and non-drivers (11.9 per cent of drivers work part-time in 2022-Q1 against 11.5 per cent in 2021-Q1). The proportion of shift workers is rising among non-drivers. The proportion of security guards is higher compared to the same period last year (20 percent in 2022-Q1 against 19 percent in 2021-Q1). Compared to the previous quarter, the share is declining (21 percent in the quarter of 2021-4) (partly due to administrative reasons).
  • The influx of employees for unemployment benefits is lower in April than in March and lower than last year (128 drivers and 160 logistics employees in April 2022 against 145 and 220 in April 2021).
  • At the national level, the number of current unemployment benefits fell further in April 2022 (CBS / UWV, 2022). The number of current unemployment benefits was lower in all sectors compared to the previous month.

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