Germany

Tight Regulation Makes German Truck Drivers an Increasingly Rare Breed

Red-taped out of existence

|

Freight companies are struggling to raise the appeal of commanding a heavy truck along Germany's highways as an increasing shortage of drivers pushes up the cost for transport in Europe's biggest economy.

The perks of the open road are fading fast as bureaucracy and regulation mount, journey times lengthen and inhabitants of the world's second-largest export nation prefer to pursue careers outside the solitary confines of a 10-foot lorry cab. …

Recruitment has been complicated by German laws introduced in 2009 that compel would-be drivers to garner qualifications in areas such as customs formalities and fuel-efficient driving, as well as in traffic laws and road safety, according to Schenker spokesman Peter Sauer. Total costs for gaining a license can reach 8,000 euros ($10,700); people caught working without the necessary certificates can be fined 5,000 euros.