Driver Shortage Increases Pressure On Hauliers

The RHA (Road Haulage Association) estimate that the UK is currently 40 thousand drivers short. Whether hauliers use own drivers, agency drivers or sub-contractors, it is a struggle to maintain efficiency with such a significant shortage of manpower. RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett put it in a nutshell: “there are simply not enough drivers to keep the economy moving”.  

The industry’s press predicts this driver shortage problem getting worse before it improves. For example,  MotorTransport draws attention to the ageing profile of current drivers with some 54% of drivers aged 41 to 60.

Legislation requires drivers to undertake training to obtain a certificate of professional competence (CPC) at some significant cost. The RHA is campaigning for Treasury funding for more driver training and tests to increase the number of qualified HGV drivers available. 

With this shortfall in mind, making the most efficient use of each driver to deliver cost-effectively and maintain the best customer service is more important than ever.

Optimising routes and schedules to allocate work to vehicles and sequence calls to maximise work done helps, but sometimes it is just a fact that not every call can be made on a particular day. When this happens, making the best use of the shifts you have can be achieved by planning all the work nearest to depot first.

Many computerised systems work on the basis of routing the furthest call first and working back to base. TRUCKSTOPS VRS has an optional “start local mode” that will load the nearest calls first. Read more about Truckstops VRS (vehicle routing and scheduling) or contact us.

More training will increase driver numbers over time, but in the short term, the hauliers only option is to make the absolute best use of every driver he has access to  (whether directly employed, Agency or subcontracted).