The growing HGV driver shortage shows no signs of abating

Of course, the issue only really troubles the broader consciousness when it impacts us directly, but it is still going on, writes Caroline Bullock

Monday 20 December 2021 01:00
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<p>‘There is a grinding dissatisfaction across the sector’ </p>

‘There is a grinding dissatisfaction across the sector’

Interesting times for the haulage sector as once again we look to this challenged and beleaguered industry to – literally - deliver the goods at the time of the year when it matters the most.

Reeling from Brexit and the pandemic, the growing driver shortage – 100,000 according to industry estimates – shows no signs of abating and is unlikely to be offset by the prospect of rising red tape and the average £3,000 cost of training to drive an HGV.

Of course, the issue only really troubles the broader consciousness when it impacts us directly and depletes the supermarket shelves. Not surprisingly, the threat to Christmas alcohol stock has grabbed the headlines with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), reporting that delivery times have risen from two to 15 days, pushing up costs by seven per cent. Chemists also seem to have borne the brunt, with a lack of simple basics such as Vaseline and vitamins at my local store and a steady stream of customer queries at the counter in Boots stores met with a shrug and “delivery issues”.

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