The UK’s leading palletised freight network has produced a study that shows road haulage firms are still being hit by driver shortages.
The report also suggests that the problem is showing no signs of a resolution, as it states that the driver shortage impact on the industry is still to peak.
Pall-Ex, a European Palletised Freight Distribution Network based in Leicester, surveyed 100 UK hauliers and found that the primary perceived reasons for shortages in drivers were competition from other sectors, a negative perception of the industry and an ageing population.
For most of the hauliers, they believe the problem has come about recently in around the last five years.
The report also stated that even haulage firms that are not currently short of drivers are worried about the increasing shortage.
Pall-Ex Group Managing Director, Kevin Buchanan, said that the study into the causes and concerns of driver shortages shows that the haulage industry is in serious need of recruiting and attracting young talent.
Furthermore, he said the industry must also work to retain its best young staff as some sections of the workforce change career or retire.
Mr Buchanan added that there is a self-esteem issue within the industry and that companies must reinvest into new and existing drivers to arrest their falling number.
Other factors preventing haulage firm growth were cited in the report as being fuel duty and increasing operational costs.
At present, just short of 60% of haulage firms dedicate less than 10% of their expenditure to development and training for current and new staff.
Mr Buchanan also commented that the problem of increasing costs explains why companies are not prepared to invest in new staff, which is something he feels must change if the sector is to progress.
Meanwhile, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has carried out separate research that shows an increase in the average age of drivers from 45.3 years in 2001 to 48 currently.