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German transport sector fears increased driver shortage due to war in Ukraine

The German transport sector is worried about an increasing driver shortage due to the war in Ukraine and economic sanctions on Belarus. The BGL organisation, who represent the Germany's hauliers, says that “transport processes could get out of balance relatively quickly" as a result of the situation.

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The German business association Bundesverband Mittelständische Wirtschaft (BVMW – Federal Association of Medium-sized Businesses) estimates the number of Ukrainian HGV drivers working for Polish transportation companies is around 100,000.

As Polish trucks carry out 17.5% of all the mileage by hauliers in Germany, if the Polish hauliers lose such a significant chunk of their workforce due to the war in Ukraine, the German industry could be hardly hit by transportation bottlenecks, warns BVMW.

To put the number of 100,000 into perspective, according to the forwarding association DSLV, there are 572,000 HGV drivers employed in Germany.

The possibility of losing Ukrainian drivers is real; men between 18 and 60 in Ukraine are being drafted into the Ukrainian military and are therefore no longer available to work as truck drivers. Many of the truckers working abroad left for home last Thursday and Friday – you can read our report about this development here.

The Lithuanian logistics company Girteka Logistics carries out significant transportation in Germany and it is known to employ many Ukrainian drivers. The same is true of the Hegelmann Group, another massive road transportation company.

German hauliers are also affected by the loss of Ukrainian drivers; German magazine Logistik Heute refers to a BGL spokesperson who claims transport companies are already pointing out possible delivery failures.

As we have reported earlier, Germany is experiencing a shortage 60- 80,000 professional HGV drivers.

As a consequence of the sanctions the EU has imposed on Russia and Belarus, the number of available HGV drivers in Eastern Europe may further decrease. The BLV thus expects “English conditions” in Germany as a result.