A new study shows that a huge proportion of truck drivers are reaching retirement age and that mass exodus could affect the shipping industry in and out of major cities like Calgary.

The study, released by the Conference Board of Canada, also says that there aren’t enough young drivers to take their place.

In the report, the numbers show by 2020, there could be a shortage of up to 33,000 drivers.

Canada’s Trucking Alliance says this could be bad for Canada’s supply chain because it’s still the preferred method of shipping goods.

They say that the report's findings show what they've been warning about for years.

"The report quantifies the magnitude of the emerging gap between the supply and demand for professional truck drivers - a looming shortage which could be 14-per cent or more of the entire truck driver population in Canada," said CTA President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bradley. "It's understandable that the challenges of the trucking industry aren't always top of mind in media circles and among decision makers. However, with $17 billion in GDP directly tied to the for-hire trucking industry and the indirect impact being far greater, there's little question a driver shortage of this size is a threat to the health and competiveness of the Canadian economy and this issue is something we as a nation should start thinking about."

The Alliance says that a labour shortage could hamper the supply chain and, in turn, drive up prices on store shelves.