The UK lorry driver shortage crisis became pressing in early June when major distributor Nationwide Produce warned that fresh produce destined for UK supermarkets was being dumped due to a shortage of drivers. The logistics industry, which retailers rely on to transport goods to stores or warehouses, is facing an estimated shortfall of around 100,000 HGV drivers.
Hauliers have blamed the shortage on a large proportion of drivers being foreign nationals from European countries who had returned to the EU after Brexit, in combination with truck drivers not being included on the government’s list of skilled labor.
Last month, the government revealed plans to tackle the shortage by easing driver qualification requirements and improved working conditions. Other measures include giving drivers more official parking spaces and boosting standards of lorry parks to help encourage hauliers to stay in the sector.
Grocers have since urged customers not to panic buy in response to reports of emptying shelves, saying they were continuing to receive regular deliveries. Nonetheless, almost 3,000 hauliers are now planning a strike on August 23 over low pay and working conditions, which has led to retailers offering incentives.
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