In an open Letter to the Editor Andrew Tavener, Head of Marketing, Descartes Systems Group has expressed concern over the extension of drivers’ hours as a way to alleviate the HGV driver shortage problem.
The shortage of drivers is a problem that is not going away any time soon. Throwing money at the problem is unsustainable; as is extending drivers’ hours through relaxed enforcement of rules.
The question is, if DVSA drivers’ hours law was introduced for health and safety reasons, why is this concern suddenly no longer a consideration? Surely, the risk is an increase in drivers’ hours related incidents.
In addition, continually increasing salaries and the rates of golden handshakes to new drivers to poach from other businesses is only a short-term – and short-sighted – option. Salaries can only increase so far and combined with compromised levels of safety and work/life balance, could set damaging precedents.
The solution here is to do more with existing capacity. Through fleet optimisation technology, our evidence shows that on average, between 10 and 20% on mileage hours can be gained, while John Lewis Partnership saw an increase in delivery capacity of 35% using advanced routing and scheduling software.
It is time to start thinking about intelligent and sustainable solutions to the driver shortage.
Andrew Tavener, Head of Marketing, Descartes
Descartes Systems UK, 3rd Floor Bewley House Marshfield Rd. Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 1JW