Early signs of driver shortage easing

7 December, 2021

Trade Association, Logistics UK has reported that there are early signs the shortage of lorry drivers will improve.

Logistics UK, which represents freight and haulage businesses, said the number of drivers leaving the profession had begun to ease and they also highlighted that there is an increase in trainees coming through the testing system creating optimism for the future.

However, the association has also called for more action by the government and industry to make the sector attractive to new recruits.

Many UK sectors, from petrol stations to supermarkets, have experienced problems with deliveries due to the chronic shortage of lorry drivers. The shortage of drivers is one of the reasons retailers have warned that consumers will have a reduced choice of food and drink at Christmas.

Logistics UK's report said that by early autumn there were 44,000 fewer HGV drivers compared to the same time in 2019. But there has been a 25.6% increase in HGV driver tests from the July to September 2019 period compared to the same period in 2021 and a three-fold increase in applications for vocational provisional licences. Average driver pay increased by 10% in the nine months to October 2021, the trade body said.

However, it is important to note that this report doesn't suggest the driver shortage is anywhere near being solved, having been years in the making. There's no quick fix when it comes to reversing the decline in the workforce. But the report does identify early signs of progress.

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