Steve Granite, Chief Executive Officer, Abbey Logistics Group
Dear Colleagues, Welcome to the latest edition of the Abbey Logistics Magazine!
I t’s been a strange few months since I last wrote in the magazine, as the UK driver shortage has hit the mainstream news and had a major impact on supply chains across the country. Although the UK has always been short of drivers, several factors such as COVID, Brexit & IR35 have worsened that situation. As a business we started to feel the pain in April (compared to general haulage who first felt it in January) and went out with an early pay offer.
We’re glad that a deal was agreed that satisfied the workforce, and our customers were willing to support the major increase because they recognised the importance of drivers to their supply chains.
I’ve done several media interviews to help continue raising the driver shortage in mainstream news as I believe in the short term, it’s painful for the country but in the long term it will lead to better pay and conditions, more recognition/respect for hauliers and their employees, and a more efficient supply chain because it will be better resourced. The problem we have in the short term is that government has not created enough capacity to test new drivers and therefore the recovery will be slow. This is why I believe access to the EU and non-EU driver market in the short term is vital. As a business we’re performing very well on recruitment with over 100 applications being received each week. This is testament to our marketing, training and recruitment teams who’ve done a sterling job. I also want to acknowledge the work of the drivers who are training the new starters: your efforts are hugely appreciated as we bring in an average of 10 new drivers each week.
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