Impact of the 2021 Driver Shortage

17th January 2022

For anyone who has watched the news in the past eighteen months, the current HGV driver shortage won’t come as a surprise. It has dominated the headlines and been blamed for reduced stock on shop shelves, the fuel shortage, and doom and gloom tales of a spoiled Christmas ahead.

However, even ignoring these headlines, the driver shortage is a real problem which is having and will continue to have a tangible impact on many businesses in the year ahead.

The Facts

The Impact

Every industry, most businesses and all individuals rely on HGV drivers for survival: from food on the supermarket shelves, to fuel, to manufacturing supplies, to Amazon deliveries.

In many cases, it has had big impact on businesses with Nando’s for example, having to close 50 restaurants in August because they had run out of chicken, and the fuel shortage in October due to a shortage of fuel tank drivers. This led to panic buying and closed forecourts across the UK.

The impact on day-to-day life has been empty shelves in high street shops and supermarkets and a general reduction of choice. Additionally, for businesses any delay to the supply chain can result in manufacturing halts, delays in delivery and lack of products.

With many of the Christmas shipping containers also being held at UK ports waiting to be transported to the retailers, with a shortage of drivers this will be delayed, possibly by as much as three weeks meaning some retailers fear Christmas stock simply won’t be available. And, as demand outstrips availability costs will increase.

The impact therefore of a shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers will be far reaching.

Recovery

With HGV driving tests being expensive (as much as £3,000), it may be some time before the shortfall in drivers is filled. But there are things that can be done to ease the pressure on businesses and keep the supply chains running.

However, although many measures have already been put in place, with increased wages, a government initiative to attract EU drivers and stepping up testing, the impact to the driver shortage has not been felt yet and is unlikely to for at least another year.

So, whilst waiting for the situation to improve it’s essential to make the best use of the drivers that we do have. This is where the Transport Exchange Group can help, as we have a database which matches over 10,000 drivers and carriers with available work every single day. All our drivers are fully vetted meaning you know your driving requirements are compliant and safe with us.

By registering with the Transport Exchange Group, we are able to connect you with available drivers in real time, to ensure that your business capacity requirements are met when you need them. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, drop us a line today.


[1] https://www.bifa.org/news/articles/2018/dec/truck-driver-shortage-crisis-now-spreading-across-the-whole-of-europe

[2] https://lordslibrary.parliament.uk/heavy-goods-vehicle-driver-shortage/

[3] https://news.sky.com/story/supply-crisis-why-is-there-a-hgv-driver-shortage-and-how-bad-could-the-problem-get-12417317

[4] 16, 000 figure  https://lordslibrary.parliament.uk/heavy-goods-vehicle-driver-shortage/

20,000 figure https://news.sky.com/story/supply-crisis-why-is-there-a-hgv-driver-shortage-and-how-bad-could-the-problem-get-12417317

[5] https://www.ftadviser.com/opinion/2021/11/02/ir35-tax-changes-helped-cause-the-lorry-driver-crisis/

[6] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/57810729

7 https://www.gistworld.com/news/Articleid/70/gist-offers-up-to-£5-000-industry-leading-incentive-package-for-new-drivers

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