You might have heard whispers from the news or the odd online piece about recruitment issues in the logistics field. The truth is, most UK logistics companies are facing recruitment issues.
The result? Delays, setbacks and, at times, poor decisions made out of desperation.
So why is there a recruitment problem in the freight industry and how can you be reassured?
Let’s take a deep dive into it…
Since Brexit, there’s been a whole host of new problems for the freight industry to tackle.
A shortage of HGV drivers has long been a problem, but after the decision for the UK to leave the EU, it became even greater. A staggering 12,500 EU nationals have left their roles in the logistics trade since 2020. Add to that a downward trend of net migration, and there simply aren’t enough people to fill freight roles.
Brexit has also demanded great change in the skillsets required in the logistics industry. Specialist customs and export staff are needed to help handle the new legislation and guide us through this ever-changing logistics landscape post-Brexit.
There have been far greater logistics issues transferring goods due to increasing documentation demands. Plus, new problems consistently arise as we navigate a new system for importing and exporting goods.
Needless to say, the freight industry, now more than ever, requires staff with particular skills, such as problem-solving abilities and a talent for languages and translation, which can be difficult to find.
There’s no doubt the pandemic affected everyone around the world. The logistics industry struggled with lockdowns and border closures that restricted the movement of goods both nationally and internationally.
Sea and air freight were hit hardest in the freight field as airports and sea ports around the world closed altogether or restricted imports and exports.
All this happened while online orders went through the roof as people sat at home, unable to go anywhere. In addition, demand for essential food and medical supplies surged as people panic-bought long-life items and that all-important toilet roll!
Hospital and care facilities needed new equipment, and greater medical supplies were requested by new hospitals that opened to care for the increased numbers of patients.
All of this took its toll, and the logistics industry was straining under delivery delays and facilities receiving twice their usual volume of goods.
The pressure on the freight industry was immense, and it quickly became clear that Covid-19 was making the recruitment problem more readily felt, and could be expected to be exacerbated for some time to come.
There are still countries around the world exercising partial or full lockdowns, and with ports closed, the effects of the pandemic and freight staff shortages are still being felt.
An Ageing Workforce
The logistics workforce, like many, is an ageing one. The average age of an HGV driver is 53, with the majority aged between 50-64 years.
This is a worrying statistic, even more so when paired with the fact that there is a lack of younger people entering the freight workforce.
Most young people are steered towards university and away from apprenticeships, with the promise of a high-flying job and a salary to match. The logistics industry isn’t one typically touted to young people in search of a career. The sometimes long and unsociable hours required can be offputting too.
Schemes do exist to help improve the recruitment of young people into the freight workforce, but they aren’t replacing the retiring employees fast enough, leading to a shortage of essential staff.
How Does This Affect You?
So you may be wondering, how does all this uncertainty affect you?
Unfortunately, desperate times can lead to desperate measures by some inexperienced logistics companies. Corners may be cut to reduce costs and meet demands; services may become slower or less reliable, and unqualified staff may be hired to fill vacancy gaps.
This is worrying when you rely on freight companies to do the job you need them to do to keep your business going or to simply get your goods where you need them to be.
A Name You Can Trust
That’s why it’s more important than ever to choose a reputable logistics company you can trust and depend on. One that’s been around for a while and experienced the ups and downs of uncertainty before, and sailed through.
Millennium Cargo is a long-established logistics company you can rely on. With more than 3 decades of freight industry experience, you can count on us to deliver your goods safely and on schedule.
We only recruit the best. Plus, with honesty and integrity at the heart of what we do, we take good care of our staff and customers to ensure everyone’s happy and all needs are met. We’re keeping our talented employees on board and your cargo en route, regardless of the recruitment situation.
Want to get in touch with our reliable team about your logistics needs? You can reach us here.