The stark reality is that Ireland is facing a shortage of up to 4,000 HGV drivers. This shortage of HGVs is impacting Irelands supply chain. It seems we’ve been facing lots of shortages lately, microchips, vaccines, building materials etc. But what (and who) distributes all the supplies and goods to the relevant industries? While we are so eager to automate everything, one that we still rely on and perhaps don’t realise how much we should value them, is our lorry drivers. HGV drivers are an integral part of our supply chains. So why are we experiencing such a shortage and what can be done?
Changing perceptions around drivers
A huge problem lies in recruiting younger workers and often this comes down to perception. The traditional misconceptions around long working hours or early morning starts may seem off putting. For many others it could be the perfect work opportunity. The image around lorry drivers needs to change with the help of training programmes and recognised qualifications. For example, Sligo IT are launching a 2-year level 6 Commercial Driver Apprenticeship in January 2022 in partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTAI). Another fantastic QQI level 5 course is a new innovative programme. Run by Solas, Mayo Sligo and Leitrim ETB (MSLETB) and Waterford and Wexford ETB (WWETB) in collaboration with the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), this training opportunity is known as SMART Driving. This 3-day programme looks at changing existing behaviours. It covers areas such as fuel efficiency, digitisation, next generation vehicles and economical and sustainable driving.
Now that the economy is almost fully reopened, we can see even more pressure on hauliers to meet the demand for goods. Throw Brexit and Christmas into the mix, this could turn in to an even bigger crisis.
We’ve previously looked at the global shortage of semiconductor microchips and how this is impacting the supply of new cars and commercial vans. This is also affecting the supply of new HGVs. The advancements in technology in the automotive industry is evident in new trucks, making them more economical and responsive. While the demand for new vehicles will be an issue for quite some time, the alternative option of previously owned trucks is a thriving market. At Capitalflow we’ve seen a huge increase in applications for second-hand HGVs in the last number of months. It means we can provide finance and support businesses who are able and eager to get to grow their business. We can do so without delay due to waiting on new vehicles. If you’ve managed to source a new truck or you are interested in a previously owned HGV, please give us a call. We’re a huge supporter of road hauliers and supporting SMEs