The Effect of the HGV Driver Shortage Explained
Dale Sharpe
June 14, 2024

You may have experienced issues recently with getting fuel at the pump, but what happened? Simply put, there weren’t enough HGV drivers to deliver the fuel levels needed to keep up with demand. The HGV driver shortage was due to a number of factors and has also impacted our services at Bray Solutions.

In our mission to stay fully transparent with our customers, today’s blog will explain some of the reasons behind this shortage of drivers and its impact on services.

Why the shortage?

First and foremost, the UK doesn’t have enough drivers passing their HGV tests to keep up with demand. The lockdowns experienced over the past 18 months have meant a backlog in tests. This has led to the rate of new drivers dramatically decreasing and thus resulting in a shortage.

The second most significant issue is a combination of BREXIT and the global pandemic. With new rules and regulations implemented, a large number of foreign migrant workers left the UK last year and have so far not returned due to the uncertainty of their future rights to work and reside in the UK.

Finally, the HGV industry has been supported for a long time by an ageing population of drivers who are fast approaching retirement age. With over 2,000 drivers retiring each week, compared with the 1,000 new recruits each week, you can start to understand why the UK is experiencing a shortage.

What impact is this having at Bray?

Thankfully for Bray, the HGV driver shortage has not caused much disruption for low-level pallet shipments within the UK.

We’re currently working with three local hauliers, which can be alternated between if one has reached maximum capacity at their depot. Bray is able to keep these types of shipments flowing through the warehouses.

The biggest impact on services has been for full load deliveries within the UK and abroad. The transport team now require a weeks’ notice for full load deliveries within the UK. This is due to the shortage of drivers, as it is harder to acquire a collection for the “normal rate”. If this weeks’ notice needed to be shortened, then the team is faced with enhanced rates, larger than before the driver shortage.

However, it is full load deliveries outside of the UK that can cause the most issues. As the team require around a 2-week notice to arrange the transport, this is naturally taking longer with the new paperwork requirements due to Brexit.

Additionally, if the team manage to arrange a collection for the goods to be delivered at the requested time of our customer, they still cannot control the workload of the customs depot. If they are working at full capacity, then this can delay the delivery even longer.

We ask all our customers to take these updated timelines onboard with their shipping schedules. Please get in touch for any direct questions or inquiries with our team.

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