Southern Alberta Truck Expo hopes to fill gaps in driver shortages

The Southern Alberta Truck Expo hopes to educate the public and fill open driver jobs. Jaclyn Kucey, Global News

On Saturday, the sixth annual Southern Alberta Truck Expo, Job Fair and Show N’ Shine welcomed hundreds of visitors to Lethbridge.

Lane Jacobson, president of the Southern Alberta Truck Exposition Association, said events like these are important to connect with and educate the community about the trucking industry. He says right now, he’s most concerned about the shortage of drivers.

“We’re short drivers 10 to 20 per cent,” said Jacobson. “For every one driver that’s retiring, they need four to come in to replace them; they’re only getting two, maybe one.”

Lane Jacobson (right) and his wife, Kani Jacobson (left), were happy to see the community come out and learn about the industry. Global News

Trucking HR Canada released a special report in June that states “for the third straight quarter, the number of vacancies surged, with 25,560 vacant truck driver positions recorded from January to March of 2022. This is the highest number of vacancies ever recorded for the Canadian trucking and logistics industry since the vacancy survey began in 2015.”

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John Stewart, co-owner of Watt & Stewart Commodities Inc., said “it’s very important for the industry and the economy to have truck drivers because everything that’s in this room is brought in by a truck at some point.”

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Stewart has also seen a shortage in equipment.

“Right now, there’s a shortage of trucks… we can’t get parts, we can’t get a lot of the things we need, not only drivers,” said Stewart.

Longtime truck driver John Stewart said it’s important that the industry finds solutions to driver shortages. Global News

Jacobson is concerned that as the shortage continues, prices of goods will likely continue to climb. He said, “in order to lower (the costs of goods), we need drivers in the seats.”

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