According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA) the UK is short 100,000 heavy goods vehicle drivers. The group warns of shortages of food and other products on shelves in the coming weeks and months straining the supply chain.
The group reports that some businesses across the UK are experiencing issues with staff being told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace app, and the logistics sector is no exception.
RHA MD for policy and public affairs, Rod McKenzie recently told the Financial Times, “Far from freedom day, it’s going to be disaster day. Government needs to wake up to this. I cannot underplay how serious this situation is.”
McKenzie also told BBC Five Live that the Government must change the rules to allow commercial vehicle drivers pinged by the Test and Trace app to continue to work, if they have received two Covid-19 jabs and are able to produce negative Covid tests.
Commercial vehicle drivers spend the greatest proportion of their day alone in their cabs, and only 0.02 per cent test positive for Covid, according to DfT.
In a letter, RHA policy director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Martin Reid has urged Nicola Sturgean, First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) to replace self-isolation measures with lateral flow testing as a ‘low-risk option’ to keep trucks on the road in Scotland.
The group also wrote a letter to Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, Charlote Vere, saying that “healthy truckers self-isolating creates a huge strain on an already stretched workforce as the driver shortage crisis tops 100,000.”