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A truck driver sounds the alarm about the shortage of carriers in Spain

Working as a truck driver has not always been easy for Begoña Urmeneta, but she loves her job and says that Spain needs people like her more than ever, as Europe faces a severe shortage of carriers.

This 59-year-old woman, divorced and mother of two, has been driving long-distance trucks that transport everything from fish to dangerous substances for 26 years.

“Yes it is true that you have to continually demonstrate everything, because when I started. ‘Begoña is a girl, she can’t carry a container, then later, Begoña is a girl, she can’t carry a fridge because she can’t move the pallets’ … ”, he stated.

“I let them say that ‘Begoña cannot’, if they are happy like that, because until now I have been able, and what I cannot, I ask for help,” says Urmeneta, who is from the Valencia region, in the east. from Spain.

Women only represent 4% of truck drivers in Spain, compared to 20% of taxi drivers or bus drivers. The government has ordered a review of measures with a view to attracting more women and a younger generation to a sector where work can be physically demanding and often lonely, as it takes drivers away from their home and family during Long periods of time.

With an average age of 50 years in Spain, Urmeneta believes that within ten years there might not be any to transport the country’s goods.

“There are fewer and fewer truckers, there will be fewer and fewer, and we do not realize that this is the tip of the iceberg,” she said, who made a 32-hour journey with her transporting resins from Torrent, Valencia, to Perpignan, France.

Long hours of commuting away from home are not an impediment for Urmeneta, who keeps a sign on her windshield that reads “Truck Driver: My Profession, My Passion.”

The carrier shortage is by no means limited to Spain, as evidenced by supply chain disruptions that occurred earlier this year as the global economy began to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and the shutdowns it caused.

In Europe alone there is a deficit of about 400,000 truckers, according to the European Association of Road Transporters.


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