The Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimates an HGV driver shortage of 100,000 in the UK.
A number of factors have led to the shortage of HGV drivers, including The UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), Covid, poor working conditions and a high average HGV driver age.
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.
The strain on the freight transport system comes before Great Britain (GB) imposes delayed customs checks on goods coming in from the EU. Many drivers are paid by the mile or kilometre rather than by the hour, so delays cost them money.
The UK Government announced a package of measures to tackle the crisis.
The Drivers Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is looking to pass 1,500 HGV tests a week and is investigating how best to streamline the examination process in the future. The current backlog of HGV tests due to Covid is estimated to be 30,000.
The UK Government has extended the permissible working hours for HGV drivers. Logistics UK, which represents freight businesses, said longer hours would "heap more pressure on drivers who are already stretched to the limit to deliver".
A ‘Year of Logistics’ is also being considered as a project to increase recruitment to the sector. The Department for Work and Pensions is looking at measures to bring drivers back to the sector and to make training more accessible.
The Government has again refused calls from the freight industry for short-term visas allowing EU drivers to work in Britain. The government said it needed to attract British drivers, rather than relying on a workforce from the European Union.
The Government did not address issues raised by the freight industry including an increase in safe and secure parking facilities for drivers across the road network to take legally mandated rest stops.
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.