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The driver shortage crisis is still affecting almost two thirds (64%) of operators, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILTUK), with driver shortages more than doubling in the North East, Yorkshire & Humber, East of England and Scotland since 2015.
The CILT driver Shortage Crisis Survey 2022, published this week, compared its findings to its previous driver shortage report published in 2015.
The survey found that the sector is continuing to fail to attract younger drivers with the average driver age rising to 50.5 years, compared with an average driver age of 47 years in 2015.
Less than half of respondents (46.5%) are training new drivers with 45% reporting that they are currently recruiting trainee drivers. The survey also revealed that 39% of respondents are turning to veterans to boost driver numbers.
Participants listed unsociable hours (77%), poor industry image (53%) and long hours (50%), together with a fall in the number of European drivers (49%), an ageing driver workforce (47%), poor wages (45%), and poor facilities (42%) as the key factors creating the driver shortage.
Interestingly CILT’s previous survey in 2015 found that the cost of getting a licence (60%) and the Driver CPC (57%), were the top two reasons given for a shortage of drivers – two factors cited by only 31% and 29% respectively in 2022.
The vast majority of respondents believe the government should do more to tackle the crisis, with 92% believing the government is not doing enough to deal with the issue and 51% calling for more engagement with government bodies.
Another 67% said there should be improved funding, whilst 73% said government should take action to improve the industry’s image. Equally, 73% also said that the industry itself should work on improving the image.
The report suggests one action the government could take is to make it easier to hire foreign drivers. It notes that the numbers of European drivers working in the UK post-Brexit has fallen significantly, adding that this “presents a compelling case to seek special exemptions across the transport sector.”
Driver shortages are increasingly pushing companies to subcontract higher volumes to other outside transport companies. However, many are suffering the same pressures. Increasingly the 4PL model with multiple partners across the entire country are offering a solution drawing resources from multiple asset pools, significantly mitigating the effect more pronounced when dealing with a single provider.