Haulage companies have issued warnings of a lack of lorry drivers after the introduction of the Certificate of Professional Competence tests.
Everyone should get their Christmas shopping done as quickly as possible as there are real fears that the lorry driver shortage will disrupt deliveries across the UK over the Christmas period.
The transport secretary has ‘advised’ shoppers to get their shopping done fast because of a European ruling requires lorry drivers to spend £300 on a new training program, the CPC.
The FTA (Freight Transport Association) has said that as much as 20,000 hgv drivers have chose to quit or take early retirement since the CPC was introduced a couple of months ago.
This has led to strong warnings that there could be ‘empty shelves’ in stores across the UK ahead of, what the experts say, the busiest festive period for six years.
When questioned to whether there would be any delivery problems this Christmas, the Transport Secretary responded, via the Conservative website, ‘’I hope not. I think we’ll be all right. But I would advise everybody to get their shopping done.’’
The new tests require lorry drivers to sign up to 35 hours worth of training and can cost up to £300. A lot of drivers felt that after many years behind the wheel professionally it was an insult to have to take training again and therefore quit or retired out of principle.
According to recent figures with the loss of drivers due to the CPC introduction added to an already high shortfall the logistic industry is looking at a shortage of around 60,000 drivers.
The Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association has said, “It’s the biggest problem the industry has ever had to face.”
The logistics industry, along with the government, need to act fast to try and attract a new generation of drivers to the industry.