Data shows truckers in Germany earn below average while sector is missing 65,000 drivers

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German lorry drivers earn less than other workers with similar training and professional experience, according to new figures published by the German statistics office Destatis.  The poor hourly wage of gross €14.21 is believed to be one of the reasons why Europe's largest economy is struggling with an estimated shortage of 65,000 drivers.

Data shows truckers in Germany earn below average while sector is missing 65,000 drivers
Photo: Trans.INFO

New figures on national earnings were recently published by the German federal statistics office Destatis. In 2020, full-time HGV drivers earned an average of €14.21 per hour (around £12).  To see how comparatively low this is, it is enough to observe the average hourly wage of other semi-skilled workers, which is €16.02 euros (approximately £13.52).

This means that lorry drivers earn an average of €2,623 per month (gross – approx. £2,214) while employees with comparable training and professional experience earn an average of €600 more: €3,286 (approx £2,773).

However, it is worth mentioning that medium-skilled workers in the transport industry earn an average gross monthly salary of €2,313 (approx £1,952). This is €300 lower than the average earnings for all medium-skilled workers on the labour market – i.e. €2,611 (roughly £2,204) per month.

German transport sector needs more than 65 thousand drivers

The low wages in the sector should be alarming given the country’s highly reported driver shortage.

The driver shortage in Germany is now thought to be around 65,000-80,000. Dirk Engelhardt, Chairman of the Federal Association for Freight Transport, Logistics and Waste Management, has sounded the alarm about the issue several times in recent years.

Engelhardt, quoted by Spiegel Business yesterday, warned that “Germany is running into a supply chain collapse”.

To remedy the shortage, BGL has urged the German Government to make it easier for German transportation companies to employ drivers from 3rd countries, especially from Belarus and Ukraine. It has also called for amendments to CPC training requirements, as well as measures to improve the image of truck drivers, boost working conditions, cut bureaucracy, and harness digitaliation.

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