Technology, not longer hours, the solution to UK’s driver shortage


The effects of the pandemic, coupled with the shockwaves of Britain’s post-Brexit transition has been unrelenting on the UK’s goods haulage industry. It is estimated there is a shortage of 60,000 drivers needed to deliver Britain’s essential goods around the country, which is brutalising companies and supply chains everywhere. The Road Haulage Association has criticised the government’s plans to temporarily increase drivers working hours, labelling it as irresponsible and unsafe.

Steven Holmes, UK&I Sales Director at BluJay Solutions has assembled some thoughts on the matter, and provided IT Supply Chain with some insight on the future state of the industry as it aims to bounce back from the setbacks it has suffered in recent times.

“The truck driver shortage is no surprise, thanks to the global instability of trade and retirement of lifelong truckers. Increased working hours is not a sustainable long-term solution; it will only continue to push potential young drivers away from this increasingly pressurised industry.

But flexible and capable supply chains are possible, offering fulfilling, less stressful livelihoods for drivers. Technology plays an important role in the future of this industry. Supply chain managers are wise to to adopt agile technologies that solve common problems thereby making make everyday tasks frictionless.

Brexit, for example, has meant greater amounts of documentation and hold ups at the border. However, automated customs declarations and remote submission to HMRC can vastly reduce hassle and worry as drivers approach the border. Similarly, the pandemic has caused trade disruption; connecting with global trade networks can smoothly orchestrate resilient trading worldwide. And the vast increase in customer expectations for fast and high-quality delivery is more easily tackled by technologies that increase visibility for both drivers and customers. Thanks to the wealth of available technologies, drivers needn’t fear the supply chain of today…or tomorrow.”