A lot of change has affected road transportation – a much regulated activity – in the last few years. Vehicles are more and more sophisticated and equipped with embedded IT: geopositioning, emergency warning systems, data exchange with the company, etc. Truck drivers have become true road technicians. “On top of a class E (HGV) license (French permis C or EC), drivers all graduate with a vocational baccalaureat or other road professions related diploma and are also hired depending on their behavioral skills” as explains a Le Havre company director. In his opinion, drivers are true business ambassadors of his company with customers.
Most of the time of truck drivers is spent behind the wheel. They are not only responsible for the safety of their vehicle (maintenance and basic knowledge of mechanics required) but also responsible for what they carry.
They must check loading operations and keep up-to-date the different manifests such as waybills, customs documents, etc.
Over 2 500 people are employed by road transportation companies in Le Havre. Sea containers are the main type of goods transported by road even if some transportation companies specialize in fields such as hazardous goods or heavy loads for instance.
In the largest companies job profiles are diverse: mechanics for the maintenance of the fleet (auto body repair training, engine technicians, etc.), operations staff to manage schedules, numerous unforeseen events, relations with drivers (Transport and logistics bachelor degree access or through ISTEL and ETL type schools), charterers who sell or purchase cargo in order to optimize loading (bachelor degree access – transport and logistics technician). More and more women, regardless of the profession, show a keen interest in a field in which the demanding nature of work has decreased a lot.
“To enter these trades that can become a springboard towards more logistical functions, one must show good organizational skills, persistence and develop good interpersonal skills” as explains a company director. As a matter of fact some road transport companies act as transport organizers and propose storage solutions to their clients. This is a way to increase the range of services offered and to generate better profitability.
After he graduated with his CAP in milling, Bruno chose building trades. He started as a builder then became a construction truck driver. Once he had passed his class E licenses (C: 19t and EC: 44t) Bruno became a truck driver in the field of road transportation of sea containers 22 years ago. “This allowed me to combine the pleasure of driving with a job in which I would not fall into monotony. I am autonomous, I regularly meet new people from varied backgrounds and I discover France and bordering countries while playing a part in the international exchange scene. Today, I work in a profession I chose and which I enjoy”.
Source: multiple Internet sources, specialized literature, testimonials (Pratic-Export, Pôle-emploi cards, Wikipedia, Onisep, CNRTL, Umep à la Page…)