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‘Critical mass’ is a phrase used to describe a minimum size, number, or volume necessary to produce a particular result. It is often used to describe nuclear reactions, in direct reference to the amount of fissile material required to keep a reaction going. With that in mind, is the shortage of company drivers in the UK haulage industry reaching a point of critical mass? Are we on the verge of seeing far-reaching consequences for not having enough drivers on the road?

The question is an important one in light of a new survey just released by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. The survey of 100 haulage industry companies shows the driver shortage may be more serious than anticipated. Some 74% of respondents acknowledged their companies are suffering a driver shortage that is affecting operations. Furthermore, a surprising 61% said they must regularly rely on agency drivers to meet their standard commitments.

To say the numbers suggest a crisis is to state the obvious. Three out of every four haulage companies do not have enough drivers to fulfil their contractual obligations. The problem spans the entire industry and affects the UK economy in the broadest sense. Keep in mind that the haulage industry moves millions of tonnes of freight across the country every year. Without the haulage capacity we currently have, consumers would not have the same access to affordable goods.

Finding Solutions

According to The Load Star’s Mike Wackett, finding solutions to the crisis begins with addressing the cost of entering the professional driving industry. As it stands, new students are paying several thousand pounds for HGV training that includes additional CPC driver training requirements as mandated by law. Unfortunately, those additional CPC requirements have added to the cost of driver training.

Wackett is not alone in calling for the government to get involved for the purposes of reducing the cost of training. If training were made more affordable to more people, there is a chance enough young drivers could be recruited to at least take the edge off. At any rate, solutions need to be found quickly. With the average age of company drivers hovering around 45, retirements will begin eating into the already short supply of drivers within the next few years.

Train With Us

Any individual interested in a career as an HGV driver is invited to contact us at the HGV Training Centre. We work with our financing partner, Pay4Later, to offer financing to new students on any training course we provide. This financing programme allows students to spread the cost of training over a longer period, making it more affordable. We are the only training company to offer this financing.

The HGV Training Centre can have you fully trained and ready to take your practical skills test in just a matter of weeks. Passing that test is your ticket to becoming one of the new company drivers the industry is looking for.

Sources:

  1. The Load Star – https://theloadstar.co.uk/a-wake-up-call-for-industry-as-truck-driver-shortage-reaches-crisis-point-in-the-uk/

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