Shortage of HGV drivers places business recovery at risk

18 June 2021

Warnings of the impact of driver shortages have been growing in recent months and now Logistics UK has said that lack of action could hit business recovery.

According to The Logistics Report 2021, 9.8% of firms in the sector agree that problems with the recruitment of drivers are proving an ‘extreme barrier’ to their businesses coming back from the impact of the pandemic.

With the UK facing higher unemployment — predicted to be at least 5.5% this year — Logistics UK is urging the Government to take immediate action to unlock access to these careers for new recruits to the sector, in order to support economic recovery.

General Manager for Public Policy at Logistics UK, Alex Veitch, said: “Our report shows that 29% of logistics businesses anticipate that they will be unable to fill vacancies for HGV drivers this year; a further 14.5% expect long delays before filling a role.”

With the logistics industry in urgent need of these workers, he went on, Logistics UK is urging the Government to provide interest free loans or grants to train or reskill potential employees and help recruit them into the industry.

The report also identified that staff shortages are expected across a range of operational roles in 2021, including fitter, mechanic and technician vacancies: 37% of respondents anticipate being unable to fill vacancies for these jobs this year.

The report, a summary of which is available at logistics.org.uk/logisticsreport (requires the submission of company details), provides insights into the UK’s competitiveness, international trade, connectivity, costs and sustainability as well as safety and innovation.

For more information about driver shortages see also “Call to put HGV drivers on the UK Shortage Occupation list”)