The shortage of certified HGV drivers has significantly increased in recent years, highlighting the impact of the COVID pandemic and the repercussions of Brexit. The Road Haulage Association’s open letter to the UK government states that there is a deficit of approximately 100,000 trained HGV drivers.
The Key Role of HGV Drivers in Our Nation’s Functioning
The significant shortage of HGV and lorry drivers in the UK is highlighting the vital importance of these experts. HGV drivers go beyond being another presence on Britain’s roads; they are an indispensable asset that contributes to the seamless functioning of the world.
In the absence of an adequate number of HGV drivers, our access to vital resources such as food and fuel would be compromised, and we would also lose the convenience that comes with online shopping. In this article, we will examine the primary ways in which our nation relies on HGV drivers.
1. They are essential for the functioning of the eCommerce sector
Presently, the proportion of households in the UK that engage in frequent online shopping stands at approximately 87%. The recent pandemic has spurred a notable surge in this figure, primarily due to the limited availability of physical supermarkets and stores. As a result, we have become increasingly dependent on the digital realm to conveniently procure various items ranging from apparel and groceries to electronic devices and household essentials.
Certainly, the realm of e-commerce is not solely confined to the digital realm. It also encompasses a physical component, wherein heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers play a pivotal role in transporting cargo and containers containing essential commodities across different countries and cities. Short-distance truck drivers are responsible for maintaining well-stocked warehouses to meet the demands of online shoppers, while long-distance drivers are entrusted with bringing valuable merchandise from Europe and other international locations. Consequently, the existence of the HGV is indispensable for the continuity of online shopping.
In recent years, many well-informed individuals have observed the growing challenge of buying products online and receiving prompt delivery. This issue, although partially influenced by Brexit, is primarily attributed to the shortage of HGV drivers.
2. The Role of HGV Drivers in Sustaining the Economy
HGVs play a crucial role in the operations of various businesses across the UK. They are utilised by office establishments to facilitate access to office supplies, as well as by retail chains for transporting goods to and from warehouses. Their significance in supporting efficient business functions cannot be overstated.
The retail market has experienced the negative consequences of a lack of HGV drivers on the economy. Supermarket leaders have faced challenges in maintaining stock levels during the pandemic due to the limited availability of lorry drivers. As a result, essential items, ranging from toilet paper to pet food, have been scarce in recent years.
If the logistics sector continues to face challenges, it will directly impact the overall economy. It’s not only limited to supermarkets; even prominent establishments in the hospitality industry, such as Wetherspoons, have experienced difficulties due to the restricted availability of food and beverages.
3. They Ensure Our Nourishment and Efficient Operation
When it comes to food shortages, HGV drivers have a significant impact on the food supply chain. A large number of truck drivers are tasked with delivering agricultural equipment and goods to farms in the UK, enabling farmers to cultivate crops and raise livestock. Moreover, they are responsible for transporting food and perishable items throughout the supply chain, ensuring that we have access to essential meals in hospitality establishments and supermarkets.
The UK is currently grappling with a significant issue in its HGV driver shortage, particularly with regard to the potential negative impact on the food industry. Despite the ongoing growth of produce, the insufficient number of drivers available for deliveries poses a threat of higher food prices for consumers and an increased risk of waste. The repercussions extend beyond food and also affect various specialised products.
Skilled and experienced drivers who operate heavy goods vehicles (HGV) are responsible for the transportation of specialised items, including those used for medical research and national security. Additionally, they play a vital role in the transportation of essential liquids such as petrol and fuel, which are necessary for the smooth functioning of the country. The absence of these crucial items would have a detrimental impact on various sectors and hinder the operations of the UK as a developed nation.
4. The Role of Heavy Goods Vehicles in Environmental Conservation
Large trucks may not appear to be the most environmentally friendly item, but they play a crucial role in maintaining sustainability in the UK, especially in the realms of food and pharmaceuticals.
If perishable goods are not delivered on schedule, there is a risk of spoilage before reaching the intended location. Consequently, this leads to an increase in waste production at a national level, while consumers face difficulties in accessing food. As an example, The Grocer stated that approximately 50,000kg of fresh food was wasted within a single week due to a shortage of HGV drivers.
The process of manufacturing this food consumes approximately 8,526 million litres of water and results in approximately 85,500 tons of carbon emissions. If this food is wasted, it also means a waste of valuable energy and water. Furthermore, HGVs play a crucial role in transporting solar panels, wind farm equipment, and other tools that enable us to construct more energy-efficient power solutions in the UK.
5. Enhancing the Enjoyment of Life
HGV drivers play a crucial role in enabling many of the activities we enjoy in the United Kingdom, even though this may often go unnoticed. Without HGVs to arrange stages and transport important equipment, we would not have the popular music festivals and outdoor concerts that people eagerly anticipate each year. Both summer and winter festivals would be called off, and setting up Christmas markets would be infeasible due to the absence of transportation for necessary equipment.
HGVs play a crucial role in facilitating the transportation of large attractions, booths, and rides for events such as carnivals and funfairs that take place during the summer. Throughout the summer months, it is common to observe trucks carrying a variety of oversized items on a flatbed vehicle.
HGVs play a pivotal role in facilitating the production of beloved movies and TV shows in the UK. Numerous essential film sets and vital equipment are transported using lorries and skilled HGV drivers. To ensure the smooth transportation of these crucial materials, choosing the best HGV course is imperative for aspiring drivers.
The Demand for HGV Drivers in the UK
If the UK were without HGV drivers, it would experience significant consequences in various areas, such as retail, food, and fuel accessibility. If you desire to contribute to the seamless functioning of the country, consider obtaining your HGV driving licence from the HGV Training Centre.