(Article from the BBC News Website)
The government is introducing temporary visas for 5,000 fuel tanker and food lorry drivers to work in the UK in the run-up to Christmas.
It has faced calls to do so for several weeks, but has resisted them until now, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously saying: « We do have to stand on our own two feet as the United Kingdom ».
The shortage of HGV drivers is due to a combination of Covid, Brexit and other factors.
How have companies been affected?
- Some petrol stations have been closed and others have had lengthy queues with BP having to temporarily close some of its sites due to a shortage of delivery drivers
- The supermarket chain Morrisons warned that the driver shortage would push up prices
- The Wetherspoons chain said some of its pubs had run out of some beer brands
- Brewers Heineken and Molson Coors said they had been hit by the shortage of HGV drivers
- Coca Cola Europacific Partners said some supermarkets were running out of Diet Coke because of driver shortages and problems sourcing Aluminium cans
- Nando’s temporarily closed 50 sites blaming supply chain issues
- McDonalds stopped sales of milkshakes and bottled drinks blaming a shortages of HGV drivers
- Haribo is struggling to deliver to the UK because of shortages of HGV drivers
- Iceland’s managing director told the BBC his company was cancelling 30-40 deliveries a day
A Bank of England report, covering April to June, also found that « transportation delays had resulted in shortages of some items, such as furniture, car parts and electrical goods ».
Severe shortages of materials for the construction sector, such as cement and timber, as well as problem for the manufacturing sector, were also highlighted.
How serious has the problem become?
There is now a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers in the UK, out of a pre-pandemic total of about 600,000, a Road Haulage Association survey of its members estimates.
That number included tens of thousands of drivers from EU member states who were living and working in the UK.
Even before Covid, the estimated shortage was about 60,000 drivers.
Why is there a shortage of HGV drivers?
Read the article on the Sky News website which explains why there is a shortage of HGV (heavy goods vehicle) drivers
A video that explains what is happening