The Logistics industry is asking the government to reconsider its decision of not allowing temporary visas to the EU drivers. The condition of the logistics industry is not good, especially after the pandemic, as the British employees have left the country. The country is experiencing a shortage of over 90,000 truck drivers. It has become a major cause of concern for the logistics industry, as the supply chain has undergone extreme stress due to the lack of delivery personnel. At the beginning of this year, a large number of EU drivers left the country because of the Brexit and COVID pandemic.
Logistics had relied on these drivers for many years, and their sudden withdrawal has had a big impact on this sector. Of course, the training is given to the new truck drivers and they will be qualified and trained to start driving the logistics trucks by 2022. However, the current shortage of employees in this industry needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The logistics companies want the government to bring the EU employees back in order to cater to the supply chain demand effectively. The lack of staff means it is getting super challenging for the logistics sector to supply food to businesses and households.
These EU drivers have played a key role in meeting the households’ and business’ supply demand during the pandemic. They made sure that each family had what they needed during the lockdowns. Now that they have left, the pressure has increased exponentially and it is getting more and more difficult for the logistics sector to meet this demand. What has made things even more challenging is the driver’s work hour extension rules. Plus, the new driver’s test and training are highly unlikely to be cleared before the New Year.
The Lack of Respect
The lorry drivers are not getting the respect they deserve. The senior executives at some reputable companies mentioned that the logistics industry has to start treating the employees properly if they want to meet the rising logistics demand. They need to realize that the HGV drivers play a key role in the success of any logistics sector. It is these employees who work hard to ensure the safe delivery of the goods to the destinations.
The head of the marketing department of Walker Logistics Ltd also mentioned that they had never experienced such a severe shortage of employees in the past. Though this shortage has been there for a long time, it never got as serious as it is now. The country needed around 60,000 drivers before the pandemic. However, the situation has got a lot worse after the EU workers left the country. Even though COVID and Brexit are getting the blame for this worker shortage, it is high time the logistics sector considered their role in this. The sad reality is that these drivers are treated disrespectfully not only by society but sectors that operate within the same industry. Lack of respect is not the only factor causing the problem. The constant work pressure, inconvenient work environment, and extended work hours have made things pretty bad for the HGV drivers. The 60-hour-a-week job only allows the employees to take short breaks for rest and get a safe sleep in a parking lot (which feels anything but convenient and safe) doesn’t do much to make it look appealing.
What makes it worse is the low pay. These employees deserve a lot more than what they are offered. It is safe to say that stacking shelves at a mall seems a financially better option than the HGV truck driving. In addition, these employees get to stay with their families and sleep in their beds. This discourages truck drivers to continue operating in this industry. After all, why would someone want to stick to such a challenging and low-paid job when they have better alternatives?
These are the reasons why it has become harder for the logistics service industry to retain their existing truck drivers and replace those who have left. Earlier, the Eastern Europe catered to the supply chain requirements, but that’s no longer an option now.