British International Freight Association (BIFA) has released a warning to say a severe lack of truck drivers could cause problems with deliveries during the Christmas period. The company has voiced concerns over difficulties caused by the limitation of HGV drivers. While forwarders usually hire trucks rather than operators, the shortage of HGV drivers is being compounded earlier than anticipated with high forecast volumes of container and trailer imports.
BIFA has also said that the introduction of new HGV driver rules and regulations as of September has also had an impact on driver availability. Robert Keen, BIFA Director General, has said: “Our members’ freight forwarding services delivery container and trailer imports from ports to distribution centres across the UK. Those members report significantly increased waiting times for an available vehicle, much higher costs from haulage companies and surcharges from some shipping lines.” Keen added: “New HGV drivers are urgently required in the UK logistics business to help alleviate the problems caused by the current shortage, which is leading to significant pressures on logistics costs.”
BIFA has also revealed that it has noted the increasing issues surrounding HGV driver shortages is to be tackled by MP and former haulier, Andrew Bridgen. Bridgen is said to share the concerns and shares the opinion that an incentive to encourage more to train to become HGV drivers.