10 truck drivers from Egypt will come to work in Albania; The operators will also increase the fees from March

 Another sector, which is expected to solve the labor shortage by hiring foreign workers, is the transport of imported goods.

A truck traveling on the Vlorë Fier highway
 A truck traveling on the Vlorë Fier highway
Soon 10 truck drivers with similar experience from Egypt are expected to come to Albania.

Rudolf Xhillari, the administrator of the freight transport company "Balkan Trans Albania", told Monitor that there is currently a significant shortage of truck drivers. Due to this problem, which has started to deepen in 2023, the company "Balkan Trans Albania" has applied to an employment agency to receive 10 truck drivers from Egypt.

"The workforce problem has deepened this year. 25 to 30% of vehicles remain idle, as truck drivers are missing. While the demand for freight transport is high, it cannot be met due to this problem. The employees are missing after they emigrated to Europe, mainly to Germany. Despite the fact that we increased the salaries, they left. Applications for hiring drivers from Egypt are being seen as a solution, so as not to leave the trucks without work that transport the goods ordered from the import".

Xhillari claims that the minimum salary of truck drivers in Albania ranges from 500 to 600 euros, while the maximum starts from 1,000-1,500 to 2,000 euros. Salaries for truck drivers in Europe start at 2,000 euros.

"Having accommodation and food provided, we anticipate that the payment costs for Egyptian drivers will be at the level of the locals. We expect that the productivity in their work will be higher than the natives. We also request from the state institutions to ease the procedures of employment contracts through the provisions of the Labor Code", adds Xhillari.

But the lack of labor is expected to bring about an increase in transport rates from March 2023. The increase in rates will come 1 year after their stabilization from the pandemic. Another operator points out that the reason the prices will change is the lack of labor, mainly truck drivers leaving for Germany.

"For us carriers, the main problem currently is human resources. We have no truck drivers, as they have left for emigration, mainly Germany and continue to leave. Many vehicles remain without drivers. It's a general problem.

But this situation has consequences, as it affects the costs of companies. We are obliged to increase the salaries and per diems of the employees. On the other hand, the high price of fuel has also increased costs. For the months of January-February, we will see how the increased costs will mature, and we think that from March we will start with the increase in prices", one of the representatives of the freight transport companies told Monitor.

After the up to 4-fold increase in the price of freight transport fees that started after the pandemic, from April last year until now the prices of transport fees have been normalized.

The highest increase was for shipping charges from China. Before the crisis period, the fee for importing a container of goods from China was 2,000 to 3,000 dollars. The shipping fee in 2021 reached $12,000-$17,000. Currently, container freight rates from China range from $2,400/20'DV to $3,400/40'DV from $17,000 in 2021.

Truck transport rates for neighboring countries such as Italy range from 900 to 1,000 euros up to 2,000.

Freight transport operators earlier claimed that the departure of the population, but also the increase in prices, affected the contraction of consumption. Due to the change in consumption, freight transport companies are faced with a decrease in the demand for imports in the month of December.
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