It wasn’t that long ago that Brexit was being blamed for the shortage of lorry drivers and the lack of goods on the supermarket shelves but as they say, a week is a long time in Politics and also it seems in the road haulage business.
Britain is currently facing a shortfall of 100,000 HGV drivers, which retail bosses have partly blamed on changes to migration rules post-Brexit and EU employees returning home, however as with all these things there is more to this story.
Mainland Europe is experiencing an estimated 400,000 lorry driver shortage with Germany missing between 45,000 and 60,000 HGV drivers last year whilst France has faced a shortage of around 43,000 lorry drivers since 2019 and the shortfall in Italy in 2019 was estimated to be around 15,000.
Port closures in China during the pandemic have sparked a supply chain crisis with suggestions that there will be shortages at Christmas time leaving some children disappointed and parents brawling in the toy shops.
Unfortunately we only have ourselves to blame for this situation, for we all sit at home and order everything from Amazon which means vast numbers of HGV drivers are fully employed delivering all the goods to and from the Amazon warehouses, which may be a good thing for the environment as huge numbers of us are not using our cars to go to the shops leaving just one man with a van to deliver to all of us.
The slight flaw in this plan is that virtually everything we buy nowadays comes from China which is the highest polluting country in the world and one which gives poor Greta Thunberg sleepless nights.
The only solution is for us to go to the shops on our bicycles and purchase British made washing machines and wide screen televisions and other goods not made in China thereby freeing up many HGV drivers and eliminating the shortfall.
I suspect the eagle eyed of my readers may have already spotted the weak link in this plan in that absolutely everything is made in China and having just purchased a new fridge freezer which is the size of Yorkshire, I’m having trouble working out the logistics of balancing it on the crossbar of my bicycle and finding a cycle lane wide enough to accommodate it.