The logistics industry has been warning about driver shortages for many years but a combination of Covid-19, Brexit and the ongoing structural issues restricting the supply of drivers has brought us to a crisis point, especially in the UK with research showing a shortfall of at least 76,000 drivers.
Last week saw the chain restaurant Nandos run out of chicken in the UK and now McDonald’s is unable to serve milkshakes across the country, in both instances driver shortages are said to be to blame.
There are also reports that BP has had to close some petrol stations and that UK supermarkets have struggled to keep milk on the shelves because of HGV driver shortages.
Ti’s latest research paper on European Driver Shortages assesses the scale of the crisis right across Europe, with a total shortfall of drivers now surpassing 400,000.
The most heavily impacted European countries are Poland, the UK and Germany. The UK is in a particularly difficult position as it is not only grappling with Brexit, but it also saw many European workers leave over the course of the pandemic, as fears over lockdowns grew.