Milton Keynes lorry firm boss warns of 'summer of hell' for deliveries and supermarket supplies
'If people think it's tough now, it's going to get hellish'. warns Danny
A lorry driver recruitment agency boss has spoken out about the nightmare of trying to get deliveries out to shops and supermarket shelves.
Danny Hobbs runs StaffCo Direct on Caldecotte and has been struggling with staff shortages made worse by countless drivers being 'pinged' under the test and trace app.
He predicts the situation in the transport and logistics industry will get even worse and it will become the 'Summer of hell'.
"If people think it's tough, it's going to get hellish over the next two months across this summer...We're not even thinking about Christmas -now is almost a mega peak," he said.
Danny added: "We haven't stopped and the HGV drivers haven't stopped for the last 15 to 18 months. We're struggling to get drivers into cabs to fill the shortfall of our clients. There's not an infinite pool of drivers out there to cover the totality of the thirst of the industry. There's just not enough drivers out there.
"We're looking down the barrel now of a 100K shortage. It's a perfect storm right now and it's only going to get worse."
StaffCo Direct recruits HGV drivers for major suppliers including Yodel and Sainsburys as well as the NHS.
Industry-wide, there is a mayor shortage of lorry drivers caused by a mixture of Brexit, the Covid pandemic and tax changes that have caused some drivers to leave the trade.
The lockdown boom in home delivery also tempted some long-distance drivers to quit their job and more closer to home with more sociable hours.
The resulting driver shortages have recently led to gaps on supermarket shelves.
Today Tesco, in a bid to counteract the shortage, is offering a £1,000 signing-on fee for lorry drivers who join the company before the end of September. The bonus has been publicised via a job advert on Tesco’s website.