Last reviewed 13 June 2022

The UK Transport Committee report urging the Government to give the logistics sector two years to solve supply chain problems or take action itself has not been well received by the industry.

Chief Executive of Logistics UK, David Wells, has argued that it combines many complex issues in an attempt to blame the industry for shortages in food and other products, despite the fact that the sector has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to protect the supply chain.

“To place all the blame for the supply chain issues facing our industry at our door does our workers a great disservice, and totally ignores the role which the Government and other agencies have played in creating staff recruitment and retention problems across the sector,” Mr Wells said.

He highlighted that, despite operating on margins frequently less than 1%, the sector has already made significant investment in the next generation of workers through the Apprenticeship Levy, with £700 million paid in by the industry to date.

Only £150 million has been able to be drawn down thus far because of a lack of appropriate qualifications for the sector which was not addressed until 2021.

He also described the fact that many drivers are still forced to take their legally mandated rest breaks on the side of roads because of a lack of suitable safe and secure truck stops across the country as a national disgrace.

“It is not the industry’s responsibility to build and run these facilities,” Mr Wells argued, “not least because they are commercial enterprises, many of which cater for all road users and not just the haulage sector.”

He went on to describe the report’s overview of the sector’s recruitment issues as confused and misleading and insisted that the Committee’s call for a levy on hauliers would place an unfair, disproportionate burden on the industry.

“It’s disappointing that the Committee has taken so long to reach the wrong conclusions and not address the real public policy issues needing urgent attention,” Mr Wells concluded.