Christmas is known as a time to be close to our loved ones, enjoy a break from the harsh working world, and take a much-needed breather in a happy environment at Easy as HGV. Unfortunately, there are certain issues that can damage the serenity of the setting such as the problem of presents not arriving. While children may believe Santa is powered by elves and Rudolph’s reindeer team; the truth of the matter is that the presents are powered by lorry drivers and this year has seen a great decrease in this particular team.
The Big Online Shopping Bang
Needless to say, the run-up to the Christmas season is the busiest and most stressful for all haulage and transportation companies collecting gifts from the retailers and delivering them to your door. Statistics from last year should that approximately 10% of the general shopping public did their Christmas shopping in a store and the remaining 90% chose to use the online stores. Online shopping being more popular due to convenience and ease of use.
In order to cope with the great increase of orders and need for deliveries (both items for gifts, foods, and any other Christmas-related resources required to make the season special), the haulage companies need to hire an outstandingly large amount of drivers to perform this task. Unfortunately, this year has shown a particular lack in this lorry driving team. The question remains: why exactly is this lack of lorry drivers being experienced among various haulage and transportation companies across the United Kingdom?
What Has Caused The Lorry Driver Shortage?
According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA) – a group representing more than 8,000 haulage companies – has warned the public that the drastic reduction in lorry drivers can influence the delivery of Christmas gifts and resources. Statistics from the RHA indicate that the haulage companies are short approximately 45,000 – 50,000 drivers this year and the problem is becoming more severe as the years pass. Why? Well, this is due to the fact that the older employees are not being replaced by younger lorry drivers. The belief is that while younger drivers are trained, they are not provided licenses as the average license is far too expensive for the average young person costing at least £3,000. The young person is unable to often make this payment due to the failing economy and raised debts for the average individual.
Unfortunately, it is not merely the Christmas deliveries placed at risk. The lack of younger drivers has influenced deliveries throughout the year negatively. Approximately 85% of all items purchased in the United Kingdom will pass through haulage companies and require delivery by a lorry at some point, making the need for drivers essential. Yes, there are millions of drivers currently in employment – over 2.2 million in fact; however, this is not enough to keep up with the growing demand for online shopping. To keep up with the growing online shopping demand, the RHA are asking the Government to provide support in the form of driver apprenticeships as they are already paying apprenticeships levies; unfortunately, there is no success as yet.
The increase in online shopping has increased the number of packages to be delivered with a record amount being reached this year. Currently, over 3.5 million lorries are registered in the UK and retailers are constantly needed to offer inexpensive, speedy deliveries; thus, putting the strain on an already suffering haulage industry.