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Follow Up - UK Domestic Haulage Market Update

As per our recent UK Haulage advisory, the well-publicised HGV driver shortage has grown in severity as a result of:

  1. The return of some European drivers back to the continent post Brexit.
  2. IR35 legislation reducing the availability of agency drivers.

The UK now has an estimated shortfall of more than 65,000 HGV drivers. This, combined with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing fuel prices and a hike in the cost of global supply chain movements, is putting significant pressure on the UK Haulage market with hauliers having had to increase rates or introduce surcharges to cover cost.

The driver shortage is at the core of pressures felt with hauliers calling for an urgent review of procedures surrounding current HGV licensing and testing, and UK entry regulations for relevant workers:

  • Due to COVID-19, it is estimated that more than 35,000 HGV driving tests did not go ahead throughout 2020 and there continues to be a delay in testing due to new compliance regulations, coupled with an EU ruling forcing applicants to complete a C licence (HGV class 2), course and test before C+E (HGV class 1) equivalents. It is hoped that a possible return to a one-test-system used previously could help counter this bottleneck.
  • In addition, it has been suggested to add LGV drivers on the skilled workers list to encourage eligible drivers back to the UK who may have left following the implementation of Brexit regulations.

With HGV drivers at the heart of successful supply chains, the impact of the driver shortage is significant and has been felt by the end consumer as supermarkets are unable to deliver goods in time.

As a result, recent months have seen us set up our own driver training to DCPC standards, which, together with a restructuring of driver opportunities, has allowed us to address some of the immediate challenges faced by the industry. In addition, our recent national recruitment campaign to encourage renewed interest in becoming a driver resulted in several hundreds of enquiries, an encouraging sign for the industry’s future showing a high interest at entry-level.

For more information or to enquire about joining our Woodland teams on the roads, please contact us here. 

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