Today, the European road transportation market faces huge challenges. Decarbonization and development of trucks is something that can be accomplished in a matter of years, but driver shortage is a rising issue that cannot be easily solved. Normally, the average number of employed drivers should be around 1.4 – 1.5 per truck, but there are many situations where there is even less than 1 driver per truck. That is causing a lot of turbulence in supply chains all around Europe.
How to tackle this issue? Aside of making the requirements and procedures for gaining a professional driving license more simple and thus attracting more people, one of the lowest hanging fruits is a collaboration with countries outside of Europe, like Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan.
“A shortage of drivers is an issue that became a global one, affecting not only Europe but the entire world. In Europe alone, we are missing approximately 400-450 thousand professional drivers. And there is no simple solution to it, as many drivers will soon retire and there is no potential and attractiveness of the job among the young generations, yet. I said yet, as I think that Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are examples and a beacon of hope, that there is a future for this kind of job and room for professionals to develop,” says Mindaugas Paulauskas, CEO of Girteka Transport, part of Girteka Group.
The new branches of Girteka Transport situated in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, will focus on attracting professional drivers to work in Europe for Girteka. As of today, within the Girteka Group there are already more than 3,000 professional drivers that come from countries in Asia, Girteka is focusing on making the job itself more and more attractive, and the recruitment process more transparent, efficient, and quicker.
“The new office of Girteka Transport in Kazakhstan will empower us to promote the profession of truck driving locally. We take great care to ensure that our recruitment process is transparent, safe, and secure for all potential drivers,” explains Oksana Karpovičienė, Head of HR Expansion at Girteka Transport.
With the new branches, Girteka will not only address driver shortage but are also respond to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan drivers’ needs and requirements in terms of a fast and transparent process, where both sides get mutual benefits. Making the procedure more agile, providing clear and comprehensive job offer requirements, as well as offering driving tests that assure the quality of road transportation services, is just the beginning.
These test activities are the next steps in Girteka’s long-term strategy to build proper, stable, and reliable logistics services across Europe, in the face of challenges related to driver shortage and the attractiveness of the profession. Being the largest asset-based company in Europe, finding business-proven solutions, like involving drivers from outside the European Union (EU) is the responsibility that the company maintains to its customers, communities, and partners.
One of the key elements of providing best-in-class solutions is also quality, which is assured during the recruitment process and driver tests, and later – through ongoing programs to maintain and upgrade drivers’ skills. Starting from very thorough training during the onboarding process, to periodic practical and online training, drivers from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are gaining valuable experience and skills that later on can be used to provide logistics services across Europe.