There is a shortage of truck drivers in the UK. This leads to growing problems. In British supermarkets, large empty shelves have not been overlooked for weeks. The trade association British Retail Consortium has confirmed “minor disruptions in supply chains”. Tesco, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, also said it was experiencing sporadic disruptions due to the shortage of drivers across the industry. This leads to bottlenecks in some products. Service stations or factories which should suspend production are also affected. “Everything we get in the UK comes to us on the fender of a truck,” said Rod MacKenzie, director of the Road Haulage Association. According to him, the shortage of drivers means that many large supermarkets only receive one instead of around three deliveries per day.
The problem is also linked to Brexit. Around 20,000 European drivers have since stopped working in Britain because they have left the country since leaving the EU. There are major obstacles for new applicants as expensive and complicated visa procedures are required. Additionally, according to the Road Haulage Association, thousands of older drivers retire each month. Due to the pandemic, tens of thousands of driving tests that could have predicted offspring have also been canceled. A total of about 100,000 drivers are currently missing, according to MacKenzie. The UK government has so far relaxed the maximum driving times for trucks. However, according to MacKenzie, this is far from enough. Short-term visas were needed for EU drivers and the training should be subsidized more so that it could also be used by people who could not invest £ 5,000-10,000. The British Retail Consortium and Logistics UK are making similar requests. However, the UK government is highlighting the end of free movement of EU citizens after Brexit and calling on UK businesses to involve the UK.