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At this time last year, we were reporting on concerns that the UK lorry driver shortage would affect the upcoming Christmas shopping season. And while that is certainly true again for 2015, there is an added concern: the driver shortage could soon affect even online shopping. Without trucks and drivers to transport goods to distribution centres, online sales may be curtailed by persistently slow deliveries to consumers.

Officials at Wincanton, one of the UK’s largest and most respected logistics companies, warned that this year’s shopping season could be more severe than last year due to a shortage of logistics capacity. They say that consumers will not likely see problems arise in terms of grocery store shelves going bare or big box retailers not having enough product on hand to meet customer demands. Most of the issues will manifest themselves in smaller home deliveries.

Amazon was mentioned as one company that might be drastically impacted. They and other online retailers with similar operations rely on smaller logistics companies to get goods where they need to go. Those smaller enterprises will also be in demand among the previously mentioned grocery chains and big box stores who also need greater shipping capacity during the holiday season. The inevitable losers will likely be consumers expecting deliveries to their homes.

Wincanton is joining other industry players in pleading with policymakers to do something about the lorry driver shortage before things get too far out of control. They are arguing for changes that would make it easier and more palatable for young people to enter the driving profession at a time when the haulage and transport sectors need an additional 60,000 drivers annually.

Some of the changes being called for include:

At the HGV Training Centre, we are all too familiar with the ongoing lorry driver shortage. We have the capacity to train many more new drivers than currently come through our doors. As such, we agree that changes need to be made. Lorry driving is a very worthwhile career choice that deserves as much respect as anything else.

Sources:

The Telegraph – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11924825/Lorry-driver-crisis-could-slow-down-online-deliveries.html

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