News & Insights

Whilst the ‘driver crisis’ is over, the shortage remains…

By Jonathan Kittow on 12/10/22 13:29 |

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Thank you to those who joined us for the Driver Crisis meeting last week and we were delighted to welcome Kieran Smith from Driver Require to share the results from the latest Q2 data.

It’s promising to see that HGV driver levels are back to pre-pandemic with at least 25,000 drivers returning to the sector just this last quarter. However, although the sector has attracted around 10% of new drivers, combined with the returners, the numbers are still not enough to keep up with the supply and demand that has also returned to previous levels.

Agency drivers will be crucial to help boost capacity in the peak selling period between now and Christmas. The agency driver pool has previously been bolstered by drivers from overseas. With recent political decisions affecting the value of sterling this could have a detrimental impact on numbers for the coming seasonal peaks.

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So, it seems that whilst the actual 'driver crisis' is over, the shortage remains. After analysing the dynamics by age, the results showed that the over 45 age group made the quickest return to capacity, but the sector still struggles to attract the younger HGV drivers which is the key to the haulage sector’s long-term success. In recent years there has been a seismic shift regarding worker attitude with younger workers, in particular putting more emphasis on work-life balance where they have the opportunity to work hard, earn a sufficient salary but also have enough time at home with their own families.

In a sector that is renowned for being very difficult with long hours on the road and limited social connection hauliers now need to be ready to offer a more flexible approach. Adjust shift patterns, lengths, and compensation systems? Perhaps run shorter shifts with more drivers? Consult with your drivers to find a “happy medium”? Put in place “nurturing” and mentoring systems to support young drivers and new test passes?

Kieran Smith comments “Don’t assume the problem is solved. Don’t suppress wages and conditions or inflation will quickly erode driver wages and increase churn”


Visit Driver Require to follow the driver shortage updates plus keep abreast of key issues including current topics such as the impact of IR35 on hauliers.

Join us at our next virtual meeting which will be on 8th November – to request an invitation please get in touch at hello@simply-sc.com


 

hello@simply-sc.com

+44 (0)845 6522251

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