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Driver shortage is exacerbating port delays

Logistics UK is receiving reports from members of rising stock levels at some of the UK’s biggest container ports, including Felixstowe and Southampton, prompting concerns of severe congestion in supply chains just 10 weeks before Christmas.

The shortage of drivers continues to hamper the onward movement of goods across the UK, and Logistics UK members with pan-European supply chains are growing concerned that unless the situation improves, there will be a logjam of shipping containers at ports.

“The current issues being experienced at Felixstowe port are partly due to the HGV driver shortage,” confirmed Alex Veitch, Deputy Director – Public Policy, Logistics UK, “Some of our members are reporting that they are struggling to source drivers to pick up and deliver containers, which is causing a backlog in the port and prevents new loads from being landed. There are also issues with finding drivers to work in the port itself.”

Logistics UK is reassuring members that everything possible is being done to mitigate the situation, as businesses seek alternative routes to bring goods to the UK until the situation at Felixstowe eases, and in recent days there has been some signs of the situation easing.

“This could become a serious issue for UK supply chains,” Veitch cautions, “although there are steps government could take to help ease the situation. Logistics UK is asking the government to speed up processing the HGV driver testing backlog to get more British people driving; expand the remit of the temporary visa scheme for EU HGV drivers to compass all types of haulage; and provide short-term assistance for businesses to move containers to external sector storage facilities.”


Published On: 14/10/2021 16:00:56


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