- 19 November 2015
- Transport / Logistics Services
This week UK business mail delivery company DX Group, which handles around 170 million pieces of business mail a year, reported a sharp drop in profits by around 5.9%. They cited the driver shortage as being a major factor in this – they just can’t get the drivers to drive their vehicles.
The Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association have been warning the government for over a year now that the driver shortage could well start hitting the UK economy unless drastic action is taken to get more people trained and behind the wheel of our fleet of large goods vehicles. It seems that DX Group is the first major business to point to this as a major problem behind a fall in profits.
The issue is that driving isn’t an attractive career to many young people and as a result the average age of a lorry driver is increasing every year as more and more move toward retirement. It is estimated that 35,000 drivers are set to retire in the next few years and these will not be replaced. Indeed, the Road Haulage Association now claims that the country needs between 45,000 and 55,000 new drivers.
There are no grants available to pay for people to get their heavy goods vehicle licenses, which cost around £3000 to attain. Industry bodies have been telling the government that this needs to change urgently or other businesses will suffer. It seems that DX Group is one of the first delivery companies to suffer financially from not being able to get the staff to fulfil its orders. Many other companies may follow in the coming months as a dwindling pool of drivers is unable to meet the needs of a fast growing economy. DX Group is unlikely to be the last to see profits fall for this reason by any means.