County Range buying smaller trucks to get round HGV driver shortage

UK wholesaler County Range has announced it is to buy a fleet of smaller vehicles so more drivers can get their goods to clients and get around the HGV driver shortage.

Smaller trucks can be driven by people without LGV licenses. County Range’s MD Coral Rose said that the HGV driver shortage and impact on the supply chain is set to worsen due to schools returning, increasing demand on food wholesale and their fleets.

The Road Haulage Association estimates there is a shortage of around 100,000 drivers, a sixth of the numbers driving before the pandemic. According to Rose this shortage of HGV drivers has both impacted the flow of goods into its warehouses and then onward to its clients.

Rose said to the BBC, County Range is “taking drastic action such as buying smaller delivery vehicles to make sure that we don’t have to have people with specific HGV licences to drive them”.

There was “going to be increased pressure as schools reopen, people continue to holiday in the UK, people return back to their offices, so staff feeding may reopen again, so the issue is going to get worse and we would like government intervention”, she added.

Ms Rose also said: “There’s lot of drivers who are able to drive but can’t go on the road at the moment because they couldn’t take their tests or refresher course and training through the last year because of Covid, so there’s potential to release a lot more drivers. There could be some increased resource in that area as well and that would help.”

There are moves afoot to tackle the driver shortage but these are too little, too late insofar as the driver shortage has caused food shortages across the UK.

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