UK distributors hit by driver shortages
UK distributors hit by driver shortage The Chemical Business Association (CBA), which represents chemical distributors and logistics services providers in the UK, has again highlighted the chronic shortage of HGV drivers since Brexit. This, they said in a letter to the Secretaries of State for Transport and Business “has reached a critical point for the UK chemical supply chain”.
“We are receiving an increasing volume of reports of delayed deliveries from our distributor member companies and are alarmed that this has now deteriorated to the point that deliveries are simply not being made – a situation confirmed by many of CBA’s logistics services members,” said newly elected chief executive Tim Doggett.
On 30 June, the CBA had written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, highlighting a recent CBA survey. This found that that 62% of member companies were reporting capacity issues with road haulage in the UK and 76% were reporting similar constraints in relation to cross-channel haulage.
“This situation will inevitably worsen over the coming months as demand increases ahead of the traditional peak season later in the year,” the association said. It therefore called for two actions, which it now reiterated:
* A temporary worker visa for HGV drivers and for this occupation to be added to the Home Office Shortage Occupation list; and
* A joint government-industry partnership to work towards a more permanent solution, including the establishment of a task force, to which it would be willing to contribute
Since June, the Government had relaxed restrictions on drivers’ hours in response. However, Doggett said: “Many drivers are away from their families for considerable periods of time and already work up to 15-hour days. Expecting them to work more hours against this background is unrealistic. The central issue is the shortage of 60,000 HGV drivers.”