A massive labor shortage in the UK trucking industry is disrupting the country’s food supply chain, a trade group in the industry is warning.
“Critical supply chains (are) failing” due to shortage of 100,000 truck drivers, the Road Haulage Association warned this week in a letter written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The organization blamed the job crisis on several factors, including COVID-19 and Brexit, which led to foreign drivers returning home and not expected to return, and an inability to test new drivers in the past. year due to pandemic closures.
“Supermarkets are already reporting that they are not receiving their expected food stocks and as a result there is considerable waste,” the letter said.
“To make the situation worse, the summer holidays are fast approaching and the drivers will be taking their leave. The lack of agency drivers to help support their absence will further compound the problem, as will the continued unblocking of the economy and spikes in demand for food and drink created by hot weather and major sporting events.
The letter urges the prime minister and other leaders to intervene to avert the crisis, including issuing temporary work visas for truck drivers.