HGV driver shortage threatens Christmas supply problems, haulage experts say

Haulage bosses are warning the Government of a the potentially Christmas crisis as the HGV sector face a shortage of 100,000 drivers.

A letter written to Boris Johnson from more than 1,600 haulage bosses and led by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) claim that without crucial action there could be a “risk of further damage to not only our businesses and livelihoods, but the UK’s integrated and finely balanced supply chains”.

The letter also calls for HGV drivers to be placed on the shortage occupation list for 12 months and to help get the return of retired drivers by reforming driver certification.

The shortage of over 100,000 HGV drivers has put a strain on retail supplies and creating serious disruption amongst many sectors.

Managing director of the RHA, Rod McKenzie said the Government is “simply not addressing the short-term severity of this crisis” and added that it would take at least 18 months to address.

What are the Government doing to fix it?

In recent weeks, the Government has launched a few initiatives including a three-months temporary visa with 5,000 visas for non-UK drivers.

But the RHA have described the Government proposal as “lacklustre and ill-conceived”, asking instead for a longer-term scheme to be introduced.

In hopes to avoid the Christmas Crisis, the Government has made changes to cabotage rules allowing foreign drivers to make an unlimited amount of pick-ups and drop-offs over a fixed period.

Enfield Independent | News