There is a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers in the UK. The sharp bottleneck that is directly observable to the customer: the massive void on supermarket shelves, fast food chains are running out of milkshake ingredients. why?
One of the main problems is the shortage of truck drivers, plus bureaucracy and all the paperwork with regulations. All of this has completely slowed the supply chain, complains Matt Hargreaves, who runs a grocery store.
‘This is the Covid crisis – this is Brexit’
The long-running shortage of truck drivers has been exacerbated by the loss of European workers after Brexit.
David Henig of the European Center for International Political Economy (ECIPE) says: “Modern supply chains are very complex, dependent on many moving parts, on many workers, and truck drivers. And if one of these elements is not working or even many of them, there is Bottlenecks, and that’s exactly what’s happening right now. It’s very likely that this will continue for a while. This is the Covid crisis – this is Brexit.”
Skilled workers are attracted by rewards
When the UK left the European Union, it meant that truck drivers from continental Europe could no longer be hired on short notice.
Gary Knight operates a sales office in the south east of England. Ensures that the British get their goods. But the shortage of skilled workers is so great that he now has to pay more – to convince drivers to work for him.
“Even if customers don’t want to hear it, prices will go up. We have to do it to move goods from A to B. And when the wheels are standing still, there are no goods in the stores.”
Those who can afford it are attracting drivers with bonuses, according to Euronews index Luke Hanrahan. “Some drivers are now earning hundreds a day. And companies like Gary Knight, which compete with the giants, with supermarket chains, can’t afford the same wages.”
The UK government has encouraged transport companies to hire more drivers in the UK – foreign workers are only a ‘short-term temporary solution’.
Easier said than done for companies in crisis and shaken by post-Covid and Brexit.
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