Driver shortages are pushing logistics towards unprecedented crisis

Pall-Ex Group has joined other leading logistics businesses in highlighting the crisis the industry faces as a result of crippling driver shortages.
As the average age of HGV drivers in the UK continues to increase, currently standing at 56, and fewer young people enter the industry, Pall-Ex Group shareholder member businesses are struggling to find drivers to carry out collections and deliveries in a time when demand for such services has increased significantly.

The skills gap and the resulting climate has resulted in a situation where stock shortages of household items and grocery essentials are already being seen and has been described as a “perfect storm” by Paul Sanders, Chairman of the Association of Pallet Networks (APN) in an open letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Pall-Ex Group operates two pallet networks in the UK, Pall-Ex and Fortec, and independent haulage businesses are shareholder members of each network.

These members are facing the challenge head on to continue to deliver sector leading levels of service for customers across the UK.
When surveyed, 74% of Pall-Ex Group members said that they were affected by driver shortages every single day, and 100% said that the situation was causing their business to suffer.

One such member is Pall-Ex shareholder member STD Developments Limited of Congleton, Cheshire, and Managing Director, Craig Stevens, has explained the impact the driver shortage is having on his business.

He comments: “We are finding it hard to continue to deliver the quality service we have built our reputation on. It is something that our customers and fellow network members now expect from us.
“There needs to be a greater incentive for young people to get into driving HGVs.
“Providing support with the cost of training and forcing insurance companies to cover new drivers would be a step in the right direction to solving the problem.”

Kevin Buchanan is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pall-Ex Group and has been a member of the transport industry for over 30 years, in which time he has held various positions, both managerial and operational.

He comments: “As an industry, we are facing one of the greatest challenges of a generation.
“The combination of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic has compounded the driver shortage that has been an ever-increasing threat for several years.
“Drivers having to isolate and those who have chosen to leave the industry because of covid, as well as a vastly reduced talent pool thanks to most European drivers no longer having freedom of movement into the UK has seen the number of skilled drivers fall off a cliff in the last 18 months.”


For more information about driving opportunities within Pall-Ex Group, please visit www.pallex.co.uk/vacancies


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