The skills shortage in logistics is nothing new. Exacerbated by the global pandemic, the world has been lacking in driver availability for quite some time. While many major supermarket chains have been struggling to procure food products from the source, but driver’s in short supply the process will only be hindered further.
So, what can businesses do to encourage more drivers in the UK?
Incentivising Drivers in Food Supply Chain
Tesco Plc has taken to incentivising new HGV drivers in the UK. The company is offering £1,000 bonuses to drivers that join the company by the end of September 2021. The supermarket is not wasting any time with the scheme and has already advertised the bonus on its website to encourage prospective employees to become ‘an ambassador on our roads’ where they will ‘play a vital role’ for Tesco customers and communities ‘representing Tesco on the highways and byways of the UK’.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has said it believes the UK is facing a shortfall of about 60,000 haulage drivers, which was affected by 30,000 HGV driving test cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), other staff shortages in the sector are occurring due to the number of employees ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app. The sheer amount of people self-isolating left supermarkets struggling to keep their doors open and shelves stocked. Since the ‘pingdemic’ the UK government has made provisions to allow the necessary employees to continue working—providing they do not show symptoms of the virus. Haulier also believes the shortage was affected by the large proportion of foreign drivers who had to return to the EU during the pandemic.
Tesco has assured that—despite the logistical shortage—it has enough food available to support its customer base and urges consumers not to panic-buy goods and leave shelves empty for others.