It is well known that we are experiencing a shortage of HGV drivers, with literally thousands of unfilled vacancies. New recruits to the industry have never been in a greater position to pick and choose employers and take advantage of a variety of incentives and bonuses. There is one time of the year, however, when the demand for lorry drivers goes off the scale: Christmas.
In recent years, during the weeks leading up to that magical date of 25th December, the driver shortage has reached potentially catastrophic levels. Millions of deliveries are expected and each year, there are worries that presents and other goods will not arrive at their destination on time. The greater the discrepancy between the number of qualified drivers and the number of driving vacancies, the greater the level of panic that runs through the haulage industry and the economy as a whole – not to mention the sheer dread parents experience when Christmas Day is approaching and their order still hasn’t arrived!
"Deliveries are estimated to reach a record high this Winter, contributing to an increase in HGV driver job vacancies."
Full-time and Temporary Drivers Needed Now
As a result, new drivers are needed more than ever. And they are needed now. The late summer months are when the haulage industry begins preparations for the run-up to Christmas. They plan an increase in the number of vehicles they will have on the road, and they (try to) recruit the necessary number of drivers.
This year, the perennial problem is exacerbated by the return of many EU nationals to their native country. This is partly due to the upturn in the economies of European countries and partly the uncertainty they feel about staying in post-Brexit Britain, in regards to their future here as well as the opportunities they feel they may or may not get.
In 2017, a growing shortage of lorry drivers was putting millions of deliveries at risk of being in limbo and recruitment firms; from all industries; struggled to find HGV drivers for retailers, operators and distribution companies. More than 50% of recruitment firms feared that the shortage would cause deliveries to fail to reach their destination. The warning follows a REC survey of more than 50 recruitment companies, and seven in ten said the shortage of HGV drivers was worsening. The Freight Transport Association says the UK is 52,000 HGV drivers short of what is needed. Kevin Green, the chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, went on record as saying:
“The nightmare scenario for many families is no presents and crying children on Christmas Day.”
“With the current shortages of lorry drivers in the UK, the danger of empty shelves in shops and no deliveries is actually not that far away.”
Sign Up For HGV Training – And Save Christmas!
Articulated lorries are doing Santa’s reindeers’ work – so if there’s no one to drive them, Christmas will be cancelled! Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the resulting chaos would be catastrophic for many individuals and businesses. And Christmas is only the tip of the iceberg. The driver shortage is year-round and getting worse.
The driver vacancies are affecting the entire United Kingdom, with large cities where goods are constantly transported feeling the effect of the shortage the most. According to data from the Department for Transport and Office for National Statistics, 301,600 HGV drivers were employed in 2017, with the number expected to rise this year. ADR Network is one such organization who aim to fill as many HGV driver vacancies as possible. The UK’s largest agency supplier of professional LGV drivers, Supplying to major nationwide retailers and distributors, their teams manage the total supply solution on behalf of clients and provide drivers with regular assignment opportunities.
It is essential for the good of the whole economy, therefore, that we increase the number of qualified drivers. And that is precisely what we at HGV Express specialise in doing. If you think lorry driving could be for you, contact HGV Express and enquire about driver training. There is a wide variety of positions available all over the UK, from shunting lorries around the transport depot, making long-distance deliveries, to driving coaches and forklifts. Whatever you have in mind, contact HGV Express for help and advice about how to get your career on the road – so we can all enjoy a merry Christmas!