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Haulage industry faces driver shortage, says Europa

[ January 24, 2018   //   ]

Europe is in the grip of a driver shortage, says Europa Worldwide Group operations director Dan Cook. The UK haulage industry is currently facing a shortage of between 45,000 and 50,000 drivers, and the situation is similar across the Continent, he believes.

He says: “The problem affects us in the UK, to employ our own drivers performing distribution within the UK, something I believe our whole sector feels. It also affects us via the third parties we contract for international haulage, as well as the European market place for sub-contractors.

“Wherever you look, and whatever your business model, there are not enough drivers in Europe for the traffic volumes available. This can only have an upward impact on cost, and in the end prices to the consumer.”

He said: “Multiple legislative changes throughout Europe in recent years also drive up operating costs significantly. The uncertainly surrounding Brexit, also I suspect, makes the UK a less secure place for EU nationals to want to work – a workforce that is also crucial to our sector.

He added that while 2017 was Europa’s most successful year on record, with consignment growth running at 25% across the business, the company faced challenges in putting into place its plan to offer a structured direct service to every country in Europe, due particularly to the decrease in availability of skilled HGV drivers.