Driver recruitment and retention is still the biggest concern for hauliers, according to the RHA’s latest Cost Movement Report.
The report, which gathers information from RHA members and sets out to define industry trends, shows that the HGV driver shortage continues to hit firms hard.
Operators blame Brexit uncertainty for widening the gap to around 60,000 and say they’re worried about controversial Clean Air Zones which will see council chiefs imposing up to £100 daily charges on non-Euro VI trucks. Meanwhile, RHA members’ operational costs have risen above inflation despite fuel costs lowering in real terms over the last 12 months.
RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett is urging the government to change the Apprenticeship Levy rules so that firms can access funding to help them recruit and train the next generation of drivers. “Levy support for vital C+E driver training still isn’t available,” he said, “despite 40% of UK trucks requiring the qualification. We have to change this equation if we’re serious about tackling the driver crisis. Our Road to Logistics programme which aims to swell the ranks in the industry needs a Levy which works, but at the moment it doesn’t.”
The full report, produced in association with chartered accountants Menzies, can be accessed here.