IInteresting times for the transport sector as we once again look to this challenged and beleaguered industry to – literally – deliver the goods at the time of year when it matters most.
In the face of Brexit and the pandemic, the growing driver shortage – 100,000 according to industry estimates – shows no signs of abating and is unlikely to be offset by the prospect of rising red tape and the average £3,000 cost of training to drive a truck.
Of course, the issue only really worries the wider consciousness when it affects us directly and the supermarket shelves are empty. Unsurprisingly, the threat to Christmas alcohol stocks has made headlines with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), which reports that delivery times have increased from two to 15 days, driving up costs by seven percent. Pharmacies also seem to have taken the brunt, with a shortage of simple staples like petroleum jelly and vitamins at my local store and a steady stream of customer inquiries at the counter in Boots stores, which were met with shrugs and “delivery issues.”