Trucking seems to be an in-demand job in Europe, but the reality is that most people prefer not to be behind the wheel of a heavy-duty vehicle. This somehow served as one reason behind a shortage of as much as 150,000 drivers in the trucking industry.
In the UK alone, there is a need to hire 52,000 drivers while Germany needs 45,000 new drivers. The lack of qualified drivers seems a more pressing matter in the UK, especially if the country enters into a no-deal Brexit. Amid all the potential problems, logistics companies should not stop from finding a good alternative for improving operations.
Trucking companies should consider a better freight container loading system to streamline the flow of operations, following the UK government’s intention to provide entry for trucks without a permit from other European countries. The plan will be crucial ahead of March 29, when the country officially leaves the EU.
While this contingency measure may ease the problem at first, the UK’s separation could mean more border inspections and eventually consume more time. Hence, the goal behind having an efficient container loading system should involve the reduction of waiting time for trucks at ports and warehouses. All of this would ensure that the supply chain remains a well-oiled machine, especially for the freight truck transportation.
Impact of Hard Brexit
More than 80% of cargo move via EU trucks that help with supporting around 420 billion pounds of freight between Europe and the UK. A hard deal Brexit will surely disrupt the supply chain and may cause an increase in prices for consumer goods. British truck drivers may still have unrestricted access after a no-deal Brexit, although it would only be good for nine months. In other words, the true impact of the problem could manifest by next year.
However, truck drivers are already concerned over how it would cause delays on shipments at British ports particularly for fresh produce. This has led many to stockpile perishable items in Irish ports, aside from those in the UK.
Cause of Delays
Ireland’s trucking industry could be the first to notice shipment delays. As much as 1,000 trucks from Dublin enter the Holyhead port in the UK each day. This route is important because it allows logistics firms to ship their products within continental Europe, and the UK serves as a land-bridge to make that happen, according to the Irish Road Haulage Association.
It may no longer be the case after a hard Brexit. Truckers worry that delays of up to 48 hours, which occur at ports in non-EU countries, could take place at British customs borders. Delays would also mean more hours of labor, increasing the costs for companies.
The lack of manpower and necessity to invest in new operational systems are equally important for UK trucking companies. These two go together to make sure the industry stays competitive not only in Europe, but also worldwide. How are you preparing for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit?