Trucking companies on P.E.I. can't grow because they can't find drivers to fill the demand they see in the marketplace.

"Most of our companies have lots of opportunities to acquire new contracts, to hire new trucks, to hire new people on," said Brian Oulton, executive director of P.E.I.'s Trucking Sector Council.

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Trucking companies are looking to attract more women as drivers. (CBC)

"They can't do that because we can't fill the seats that we have already."

Jason Ling's company J and C Ventures currently has 12 transport trucks. The business is out there for him to buy more, but there's no point in doing that if he can't find the drivers.

"It's more of a challenge all the time, with the aging workforce and new guys not coming into the business," said Ling.

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Long hours and low pay are no longer the norm for truck drivers, says Brian Oulton, executive director of P.E.I.'s Trucking Sector Council. (CBC)

Trucking companies have faced a driver shortage for years, and Oulton said it is only getting worse.

Trucking group hopes to stem westward flow

He said misconceptions about long hours and little pay contribute to the problem.

"That's just not the case," he said.

"Our truck drivers today are very professional. They're the men and women who make everything happen."

A new campaign by the sector council is targeting high school students, encouraging them to consider careers in trucking. Efforts are also being made to get more women behind the wheel.