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Christmas deliveries could be hampered by driver shortage

11 November 2014 - 11:12 by Mike Price

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Although shopping online make it possible to purchase almost any item, no matter where you live, it is still necessary for a product to be physically delivered to your door, to complete the transaction. And with Christmas on the way, the UK’s delivery infrastructure is facing its biggest challenge of the year.

There could be problems with deliveries this festive season, according to the Financial Times, as representatives of the logistics industry in the UK have voiced fears about a shortage of drivers to captain the lorries and vans that get the hundreds of millions of e-commerce deliveries out to consumers each Christmas.

The problem is significant, with some estimates suggesting that the country needs at least 60,000 more drivers than are currently on the books to pick up the slack. And more professional hauliers are quitting as a result of new legislation, according to Richard Burnett of the RHA.

Difficulties with deliveries are likely to intensify, as by the end of the decade, about a quarter of a million more drivers are going to be needed to keep up with the never ending increases in the amount of safe shopping online that consumers in the UK are carrying out.

One issue, aside from the legislative changes that are being criticised, is that logistics companies are reluctant to hire young drivers to flesh out their ranks, because the cost of insuring them is so great. So as demand outstrips supply, there may be deficiencies in the system, which mean that not everyone gets their presents on time this year.

For consumers, it is sensible to plan ahead and order your Christmas deliveries with plenty of time to spare, so that you do not get caught out on the 25th of December.