According to the RHA’s latest Cost Movement Report driver recruitment and retention is still the biggest concern for hauliers.
The report, which gathers information from members and sets out to define industry trends, confirms fears that the ever increasing HGV driver shortage continues to hit firms hard.
Operators have reportedly blamed Brexit uncertainty for widening the gap to around 60,000 and say they’re worried about controversial clean air zones which will see council chiefs slapping up to £100 daily charges on non-Euro VI trucks.
In another worrying development, members’ operational costs are said to have risen above inflation despite fuel costs lowering in real terms over the last 12 months.
With the General Election tomorrow, RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett has urged the next government to change Apprenticeship Levy rules so that firms can access funding to help them recruit and train the next generation of drivers. Levy support for vital C+E driver training still isn’t available despite 40% of UK trucks requiring the qualification.
Richard explained: “We have to change this equation if we’re serious about tackling the driver crisis. Our Road to Logistics programme which aims to swell the ranks in the industry needs a Levy which works, but at the moment it doesn’t.”