Pressure continues to grow on driver vacancies

Like many industries in the UK, the impact of an ageing workforce and post-Brexit losses, driver vacancies continue to challenge this £32.2 billion industry.

Almost 30% of the current personnel are aged 56 or over and retention is becoming a key factor in an industry which is placing increasing pressure on drivers to achieve tough delivery targets, with some van drivers delivering a parcel every 6 minutes.

Working conditions are considered to have gotten worse over recent years with drivers reporting that some delivery sites won’t allow them to use the toilet facilities.

The Government released a £20m fund this year to improve roadside facilities for HGV drivers, including better security, lighting, and shower facilities.

MOTO which provides motorway services across the UK will have completed an investment program across all their shower facilities in the UK by the end of 2022 and have increased the cleaning of all their toilets and showers, based on feedback from the drivers. It must be a priority that HGV drivers have access to quality facilities for regular rest breaks.

Additional parking spaces need to be created as drivers are having to park up in laybys to get their allocated hours of sleep during long shifts moving goods up and down the UK and across Europe.

Salaries are now improving for most drivers and an initiative to train more than 11,000 new HGV drivers this year has started to bear fruit. At the height of the driver crisis, it was estimated the UK needed between 60,000 and 100,000 additional drivers.

The UK supply chain relies heavily on drivers as the backbone for the movement of goods across the UK, so, better pay, an improved testing regime, better facilities and reduced waiting times at UK ports will have a significant effect on recruitment.

If you are a logistics employer looking to increase the number of drivers on your books, we have a specialist team of recruiters and resources who have the industry knowledge and can assist you with your drive to a full workforce.