HVG driver shortages holding economy back

ended 19. October 2021

The Office for National Statistics today published report on the HGV driver shortage that is impacting the UK economy. Key findings were: 

  • An estimated 268,000 people were employed as HGV drivers between July 2020 and June 2021. This is 39,000 fewer than the year ending June 2019 and 53,000 fewer than the peak for HGV driver employment, during the year ending June 2017 (321,000).
  • There has been a fall in the number of UK nationals employed as HGV drivers since the year ending June 2017. The number of EU nationals employed as HGV drivers increased between 2017 and 2020, but then decreased during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The number of HGV drivers has generally declined since July 2016 to June 2017. The largest decline over the four years was among those aged 46 to 55 years.
  • Around 22% of businesses reported challenges importing in early to mid-September 2021, because of a lack of hauliers or logistics equipment and 10% reported challenges exporting for the same reason.

Reaction from small businesses below…

5 responses from the Newspage community

Star Quote
"There needs to be a massive change in our general perception of the driving profession and it must be given the respect it deserves. Here in the UK our drivers are forced to contend with many restrictions on where and when they can stop and have to pay for the privilege of resting after a hard day's work, often in places with poor facilities. They also have to deal with the fact that a lot of people don't want to see lorries and lorry drivers in their everyday lives. On top of that, pay has been squeezed and our self-employed drivers' income has been severely reduced by off-payroll tax legislation, so it's no wonder many hauliers feel it just isn't worth it anymore. No wonder so many have left the profession, yet we are completely reliant on drivers for our daily life, and it's about time we all realised that and appreciated them for what they do."
Star Quote
"As the wife of an HGV driver, I wouldn't recommend the job to anyone. 15 hour days are the norm, with low pay and appalling conditions if required to stay away. The Government needs to understand why people are leaving and improve that. I think subsidies for employers of HGV drivers to be able to bump wages would be a great start."
Star Quote
Jez Lamb
Founder at Beers@No.42
"The shortage of HGV and delivery drivers generally is an absolute nightmare. As a business that relies on drivers to receive goods and which also uses the courier network to deliver orders nationally I'm being hit from both sides. I've already had one of my suppliers put their account on hold as they simply haven't got the drivers to deliver their products. Christmas without beer will not be a happy time. The country is currently in a state of logistical disarray."
Star Quote
"Personally, I think every MP should be made to work as an HGV driver as part of their parliamentary duty, something that's covered by the pay they already receive. That's 650 extra drivers, which will provide an immediate boost. Let's face it, they never seem to be in Parliament, so they can get our Christmas turkeys to the shops for us instead."
"The HGV shortage is impacting almost everyone and everything and, by the look of things, is set to get worse. Whether the straw that broke the camel's back was Covid or Brexit, we have known about this emerging crisis for a long time. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would know that if you restrict movement, put in trade barriers and generally make hard-working people feel unwelcome, a lot of them will decide they're better off not being here at all. This government, continually lurching from one cock-up to another, has to be held to account for the complete and utter omnishambles it has created."