This is due to a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver shortage of more than 100,000, causing the collapse of supply chains.
The shortage of HGV drivers is hitting distribution companies and threatens to lead to higher freight costs, rises in prices for products and stock shortages.
In a letter sent to Boris Johnson, The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has called for the introduction of temporary worker visas for HGV drivers and adding them to a "shortage occupation list". The letter was signed by the CEOs of a number of large multinational logistics groups.
Since 1 January 2021 and Britain's departure from the European Union (EU), EU citizens are included in a new immigration system which gives priority to high-skilled roles. HGV drivers are not among the list of eligible skilled occupations, which means they are excluded from a skilled work visa.
The Annual Population Survey produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that there were 16,000 fewer EU nationals working as HGV drivers in the year ending March 2021, than in the previous year.
A government spokesman said post Brexit, GB companies should look to hire local workers instead.
Covid is also part of the problem. The RHA estimates about 30,000 HGV driving tests were cancelled last year because of the Covid pandemic.
Other factors creating the HGV driver shortage include Tax rule changes, poor working conditions and large numbers of HGV drivers retiring (the average age of HGV drivers in the UK is 55).
About Us - Tudor International Freight
Established in Horsforth, Leeds, back in 1991, we are a logistics company who are experts in road, air and sea freight. We transport goods to most major cities, towns and suburbs across all 6 continents. We go over and above to ensure that our client’s products, goods and cargo are transported around the world safely and successfully. We are a family business, who are still based in Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire.