A survey by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimates there is a shortage of about 100,000 drivers. It is affecting all kinds of deliveries. An HGV driver says his 40% pay rise highlights the precarious position of the haulage industry. Tom Reddy, who has been a driver for the last 15 years, said he had walked in to work one morning to find he was getting an extra £7 per hour.
However, Reddy said increasing pay was "unsustainable" and costs would have to be passed on. Because despite haulage firms being desperate to keep hold of drivers, he said they operated on very tight margins.
Andy Barlow, who works for another firm, Insight Trans Logistics in Inkberrow, in Worcestershire, said drivers' wages already accounted for about 25-30% of the costs of running a vehicle. He added some firms were advertising drivers' jobs at £50,000 a year and smaller companies could not compete.
The RHA has previously blamed a slew of issues for the shortage of drivers. Historical problems in recruitment, work-life balance and the high cost of training, it said, had all contributed.