Commenting on the growing level of concern around the subject of skills shortages, with particular reference to the driver shortage and the potential impact this will have on the Christmas retail industry, Steve Agg, Chief Executive at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport said:
‘Complaints about driver shortages are not new. This time however the solution may not be as readily to hand as already in November some transport businesses are standing vehicles due to a lack of drivers.
‘What is different this time is that from September 2014 lorry drivers need to have their compulsory CPD up-to-date (2013 for bus drivers). Along with this the well-known age profile of lorry drivers may well be catching up as older drivers decide to opt-out. Couple this with the changing profile of consumer demand; a rapid increase in online sales as well as swift delivery requirements there is an awful lot of driving to be done.
‘Perhaps it is time for us all in the logistics and transport world to have a fundamental rethink about the role of the driver and maybe start from the premise that they are the most important people in our profession. If we commit to training them, providing good base and road side facilities and improving working hours and conditions then perhaps next year delivering Christmas or anything else in fact will not be in doubt.’