Shortage of labour in the logistics industry 2021

  • The new decade has brought Brexit and Covid-19, resulting in uncertain times for many businesses and industries across the globe.labour

    With the movement, storage, and flow of goods directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and buyer behaviour rapidly changing to online purchasing during this time, the logistics industry has been hugely impacted.

    In addition, Brexit has resulted in a serious shortage of labour in transport and logistics. New immigration rules are looking to introduce a points-based immigration system and salary caps for ‘low-skilled workers,’ of which HGV drivers, an essential labour force within the UK logistics industry, fall.

    With the UK looking to fully reopen in the Summer, hospitality will hopefully once again boom, and many will want to get away, albeit for staycations. The imminent high demand for HGV drivers to support the movement of goods is high, yet the Freight Transport Association (FTA) suspects that the shortfall of drivers already sits at around 59,000 in the UK, which begs the question; are we heading for a crisis?

    A Labour Crisis

    The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used repeatedly during the pandemic; however, this crisis certainly warrants its use once more, as we find ourselves in a challenging situation, an industry trying to do a job that lacks a robust labour force to support it.

    As online sales continue to increase, there are more and more job opportunities for workers throughout the supply chain, from warehouse operatives to HGV drivers, but recruitment is struggling to keep up.

    In April 2021, the Office of National Statistics reported that the UK employment rate was estimated at 75.1%, 1.4 percentage points lower than the previous year. In addition, the UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.9%, which is 0.9 percentage points higher than the previous year. In the same report, for December 2020 to February 2021, an estimated 1.67 million people were unemployed, up 311,000 on the same period the previous year; so why is the logistic industry struggling like it is? We have roles across the country, sat, begging to be filled.

    A summit meeting with logistics firms and transport ministers was recently held to discuss the lack of drivers at which, The Road Haulage Association said they had “provided overwhelming evidence that the shortage is getting worse. The situation must be addressed right now.”

    That being said, it is estimated that at least 30,000 driving tests were postponed due to the pandemic, leaving thousands of potential HGV drivers unable to work when the UK logistics industry needs them most.  Could it be that we are, in fact, not facing a talent crisis and more an administerial backlog due to Covid-19?

    What the labour shortage means for Masters Logistical

    Although we are seeing the industry struggle to recruit staff in these challenging times, Masters Logistical is fortunate to have a solid, long-standing relationship with our Driver agency, which consistently goes above and beyond to meet our ongoing needs.

    We have therefore been able to still retain our reliable service throughout, delivering on time, in full, without exception.

    We are taking this current labour crisis as an opportunity to adapt our services to accommodate the number of challenges and trends that the logistics industry faces in 2021, including the impact of Covid-19, the aftermath of Brexit, and the rapid expansion of eCommerce.

    If you are interested in a logistics partner who is reliable, professional, and will uphold your reputation, get in touch today to find out how we do the ordinary, extraordinarily well.

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