Driver shortage: How will it affect christmas deliveries?

According to the latest reports, the UK logistics industry is facing it’s worst ever driver shortage in the run up to Christmas, with many people blaming EU regulations.

Santa holding sign saying it's cancelled

Whilst UK ecommerce retailers are gearing up for what is expected to be a record-breaking year in terms of online sales, with over one hundred and eighty million home deliveries forecast for November and December, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills says the logistics industry is around sixty thousand drivers short! A revelation that is bound to have an effect on Christmas deliveries.

Many people are blaming the EU’s new certification requirements known as the ‘ Driver Certificate of Professional Competence.’ This certification was introduced to standardise safety procedures for drivers across the EU, however the issues drivers are having with it is that it means they have to do an additional thirty five hours training, at the cost of around five hundred pounds.

Since the regulation was introduced, around twenty thousand drivers have quit (according to The Freight Transport Association) and others have opted for early retirement.

Some people are claiming that this is the biggest problem the industry has ever had to face and others are saying that the Christmas chaos is only the start of things to come. According to the UKCES, the industry needs 257,000 more drivers by 2022, but in order for that to happen, they need to find a way to attract new recruits and that appears to be something they are struggling with. Many employers are put off hiring young drivers due to the high insurance premiums and young people are put off by the ‘unappealing image’ of freight driving.

Right now the industry’s solution is to meet the excess demand using drivers from overseas, however this isn’t a solution that will be sustainable in the long term.

The shortage of drivers could potentially cause delays in deliveries over the Christmas period, so our advice to customers is to get your shopping done as early as possible!

Image credit: bendylan

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