Cash incentives offered to attract drivers to the home delivery sector are “significantly” hampering the collection and delivery of new and used cars, according to DMN Logistics.
Tempted by joining bonuses, drivers are opting for short-term home delivery roles and this is having a knock-on effect on the logistics sector with fewer drivers applying.
The Birmingham-based national vehicle movement and inspection firm is predicting that labour shortages are set to continue at least into the first quarter of 2022.
Nick Chadaway, managing director at DMN Logistics, said: “Despite this current lack of driver availability, there could however be an improvement in availability post-Christmas as demand in home deliveries reduces.”
Drivers appear to be put off with the costs of HGV training ranging between £4,000-£7,000 and relatively low wages in the logistics sector.
Instead, they are enticed by home delivery companies offering immediate financial gains with signing on bonuses of up to £1,000 and companies upskilling non-HGV drivers with offers of support to take the HGV test, according to DMN Logistic.
Chadaway said: “The proposed changes to the HGV test (reducing some of the technical aspects) could also help improve UK HGV driver uptake.
“Relaxation of cabotage rules for six months could also allow additional capacity on HGV movements – so it does appear to be a short-term issue with the situation looking to ease post-Christmas.”
The impact of the HGV driver shortage is compounded by non-returning Eastern European due to Brexit and Covid complications, along with the shortfall of HGV tests available during the pandemic plus an ageing HGV workforce profile with more drivers retiring than new drivers starting.
Furthermore, long-standing issues remain in attracting and retaining HGV drivers, including anti-social hours, relatively low pay, poor driver facilities and lack of diversity.