Shortage of lorry drivers ‘could put Christmas deliveries at risk’

Retailers could be facing a nightmare before Christmas, according to the Road Haulage Association.

The organisation – which represents more than 8,000 haulage companies – suggests that we’re currently short of between 45,000 to 50,000 drivers, and the ‘situation is getting worse’.

A lorry load of problems

Richard Burnett, the RHA’s chief executive, believes an ageing workforce is fuelling the shortfall, combined with the lack of affordability involved in getting a truck license.

In his eyes the £3,000 price tag is putting young people off entering the industry, so he’s calling on the government to step in and prevent a logistical disaster: “They should support a truck-driving apprenticeship but are refusing to do so; even though they are forcing the larger trucking firms to pay the new apprenticeship levy.

“As far as the RHA is concerned, that amounts to little more than just a tax on payroll. What young person can find £3,000 without some help? This shortage is grave and presents a real threat to Christmas and to economic growth.”

Road to nowhere?

It’s estimated that around 85 per cent of all goods bought in the UK are carried by lorry at some stage in the supply chain, and it’s a number that will surely only rise as shoppers and retailers shift online.

With that in mind, the RHA’s assertions could make grim reading for Britain’s retailers… have you experienced any delivery difficulties so far? Let us know in the comments section below.

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