Driver shortage in the UK due to Brexit and COVID-19

The cases

The transport sector in this period is a major concern in the UK, given the difficulties caused by the truck driver shortage due to Brexit and COVID-19 Pandemic. Above all, the shortage of truck drivers threatens to leave gaps on supermarket shelves. The lack of over 60,000 truck drivers is the direct cause of distribution problems, product availability, and food waste. 

Shops and restaurants are facing a food shortages. But also the garbage accumulation on the roads due to the garbage truck driver shortage should not to be overlooked. It is partly because of eastern European drivers, which have returned home during the pandemic and found it difficult to return due to the new Brexit rules. Many have left the country, changed professions or chose to work in Europe. There is also the problem of the professional training of new workers in the road transport sector, as the pandemic delayed the tests for new drivers. Finally, the rise in online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic increased the number of couriers delivering packages only locally.

The UK government has held emergency talks with retailers, logistics groups, and wholesalers to overcome this crisis of distribution. One of the potential solutions includes the 10-15% increase in the salaries of drivers. But, the main action is to putting drivers on the official shortage occupation list to help make it easier to bring in workers from overseas. Immediate action is also required to increase the drivers’ working time from 9 to 11 hours daily. In the longer term, it is suggested to increase the parking areas for trucks and to improve the sector from a social point of view.