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Driver Skills Shortage: Concerns Growing in Logistics Industry

diesel duty hike is on the cards, while a driver skills shortage threatens the future of the industry

In road haulage, the driver skills shortage is a matter of increasing urgency for trade bodies and businesses.



While recent efforts to address the issue have been praised by the government, a worrying gulf between the needs of the industry, and the manpower available to resolve them, remains.


Chartwise previously reported on the shortage, and the situation remains troublesome. In fact, the sector requires 52,000 drivers, and identifies a dearth across a number of other professions, including engineers and HGV technicians.


The results of the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA’s) October 2017 Quarterly Transport Activity Survey (QTAS), which garners responses from all corners of the industry, were released last month.


The numbers break down as follows.

Driver skills shortage is one of several alarming factors casting a shadow over British road freight.
Casting shadows: the skills shortage is alarming, but hauliers expect an upturn in growth in December


Filling driver vacancies caused the most problems.

  • 32% of respondents reported long delays in driver recruitment.
  • 67% reported difficulties in finding qualified agency drivers.
  • 58% expected a shortage of HGV drivers for the remainder of 2017.


Activity levels in the sector remain unchanged.

  • Comparing it with the previous quarter, respondents disclosed stagnant growth figures in Q3 2017.
  • Outturn growth was also lower than anticipated by the results of the FTA’s previous survey.


A period of strong growth is on the horizon, potentially.

  • The majority of industries revealed reasonable-to-robust levels of growth in Q3 2017, and respondents expect this to continue in Q4.
  • Britain-based international hauliers observed modest growth in global road transport activity levels in Q3 2017.
  • Figures were, however, slightly lower than anticipated in the previous quarter; sluggishness in the UK economy may be the determining factor.


If you’re an FTA member, you can login to view the full QTAS Report.

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