The deficit of professional drivers and the resulting downtime of German trucks attracted the attention of the Lithuanian transport tycoon. The company assumed that in the era of increased demand for full truckloads, a niche is opening up on the German market that it can fill. According to forecasts, the Lithuanians might succeed.
The German transport sector is severely affected by the lack of professional drivers. 20 percent of vehicles are unused and if the truckers’ deficit persists, the country will face a serious supply crisis. At present, the building materials and FMCG sectors are already experiencing difficulties, and carriers and forwarding companies are warning that meeting delivery deadlines is getting more and more difficult.
Girteka Logistics, a Lithuanian transport company, which currently employs 10,000 drivers and boasts a truck park of 5,000 tractors and 5.5 thousand trailers, has noticed extensive opportunities for expansion. The carrier wants to offer the Germans what they lack the most.
Taking into account the fast growing demand in Germany for the carriage of FTL loads, we have just registered the first tractors with German registration numbers,” said Kristian Kaas Mortensen, director of strategic development at Girteka Logistics.
The company’s offer – transport of full truckloads over long distances – fits in perfectly with the demand of German shippers. The representative of the Lithuanian company claims that from now the local logistics market is part of the Girteka services portfolio.
We have pointed out that in the last few years German transport companies have not been able to solve the progressive problem of the lack of professional drivers in any way. Meanwhile, the number of truckers we employ has increased from 8,000 to 10,000 from the beginning of the year. Therefore, from today we will offer our services also on the German FTL market – says Kristian Kaas Mortensen.
Drivers from abroad and eastern carriers hope Germany
German experts report that about 30,000 people leave the profession every year drivers. The reason for this is the low attractiveness of the profession, relatively low wages an, aging workforce. The economy of the country is already feeling the effects of the transport crisis.
We are all here in a difficult situation, we are in trouble. Customers are not satisfied because freight companies are not able to take more orders. And carriers are frustrated because they can only meet the demands of a few clients,” says Sebastian Lechner from the German Federal Shipper’s Union.
Drivers from abroad are one of the solutions to the German crisis. This year, a program for asylum seekers started, under which they gain qualifications and get a job as truckers.
Another solution to the problem may be the processing capacity from Central and Eastern Europe – from Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. The problem is that Germany must „re-open” to foreign carriers. Big companies such as Girteka can meet the German restrictions, but will they meet the significant demand of shippers? Time will tell.