Having seen the less than full shelves in the supermarkets which was a result of a lack of lorry drivers, it was with dismay that I read today that construction will be hit again.
An issue with supply from overseas was generated by the reduction in the levels of production from the manufacturers. Closure of plants created a shortage and supply and demand pushed the prices up. With less shipping permitted because of Covid 19 there are now containers of products stacking up on the docks overseas.
An update from the Construction Leadership Council has said, “A shortage of lorry drivers is now the major concern for many suppliers as the materials crisis continues”
Production is slowly returning to normal levels but now we haven’t got the HGV drivers available to move the goods around. – so what happened to the lorry drivers?
The following graphic from the BBC was a helpful guide
Many European drivers went home and haulage companies say very few have returned.
There is also a large backlog in HGV driver tests, so it's been impossible to get enough new drivers up and running. It was reported that 25,000 fewer candidates passed their test in 2020 than in 2019.
Brexit was another reason why many European drivers went back to their home countries, or decided to work elsewhere.
As part of the single market drivers used to be able to come and go as they pleased.
Now the additional border bureaucracy after Brexit means it has been too much hassle for many of them to drive into and out of the UK.
Plus - Many drivers are paid by the mile or kilometre rather than by the hour, so delays cost them money.
We will continue to work closely with our suppliers and customers to make any project run as smoothly as possible. The present circumstances make life challenging and the forecast is that we will be in Mid 2022 before any real normality returns.