How Will a Driver Shortage Impact the UK Logistics Industry?

Drivers are a key element of every logistics company. They are the people who get the deliveries from Point A to Point B, on time and in good condition for the most successful logistics businesses. So, if there were to be a problem with the drivers, there would be a problem with the logistics industry.

Currently, the UK is experiencing a shortage of drivers, with logistics companies really struggling to meet demand. It is estimated that 150,000 new drivers are required by 2020, and if that is not met the industry as a whole could change.

Delayed Deliveries

With the number of deliveries seeming to increase as more consumers order items online, and having come to expect almost instant deliveries, the logistics industry is continuing to grow. It is the UK’s fourth largest employment sector, but if there aren’t enough drivers to meet demands then more and more deliveries will fall behind.

Delayed deliveries and longer waiting times will displease customers and possibly lead to individuals and businesses using logistics companies to seek alternative options. Still, it’s not just a case of acquiring more drivers quickly, they need to be trained and hold the proper licences.

Rising Consumer Costs

Chris Sturman, CEO of The Food Storage and Distribution Federation, has claimed that unless there is a reversal of the current driver shortages, it is the consumers’ pockets that will be hit. Fewer drivers will lead to higher wages and more expensive transport costs.

Recruiting, training and retaining drivers will become costlier too, which will be passed down the supply chain to the consumers. Whether ordering food online from your favourite supermarket, or businesses such as restaurants using wholesale suppliers, the delivery costs will increase. This will further impact consumers, with the knock-on effect of higher costs eating out for example.

Recruitment Drives

In order to try and distil the effect of fewer drivers, many logistics firms will have to arrange recruitment drives to meet demand. Given the sector’s average worker age is 53 and it isn’t popular career choice, this could prove challenging.

Otherwise logistics firms will have to seek different measures to tackle the driver shortage. Financial options such as using freight factoring to receive advances from clients so they have enough cash to pay more drivers is one option available.A driver shortage is something that will affect all of us, not just those working in logistics.

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