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Driver shortages are a ticking time bomb if left unchecked

To be by-lined to Rob Wright, executive director at SCALA, a leading provider of management services for the supply chain and logistics sector.

“Between Brexit crippling recruitment from the EU, IR35 tax changes leading many drivers to leave the industry, and a growing backlog of driving tests caused by the pandemic, this continued disruption could spell catastrophe for businesses after one of the most difficult years on record.

“If this continues, it is not just businesses that will feel the brunt, with consumers also potentially being affected. If products cannot get to stores, on-shelf availability naturally decreases and, with this limited supply, the price of goods could be drastically inflated. Supermarkets and wholesalers also face having less flexibility to meet spikes in demand, and may need to cap volumes of their products.

“To combat these driver shortages, the government must provide the much-needed support that the industry has been demanding for so long. The government must provide monetary grants to support the industry, amend immigration policy to place drivers on the shortage occupations list and significantly increase the availability of HGV driver tests after the blockage created by the coronavirus lockdowns.

“Simply enough, the industry’s demands for support must be heard and actioned upon, or this crisis could get much worse.”

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