The UK supply chain crisis would continue at least 2023 and maybe beyond the threshold, a broad coalition of business groups warned, media reports said. According to the business groups, small businesses in the UK would have to bear the brunt of labour shortages and price rises.
Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation told the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, “Six months ago our businesses all thought this was transitory, now every business I know expects this to last into 2023 and 2024. Every single one.”
Speaking in this regard, the policy head of the UK’s Road Haulage Association also issued a warning that things are not visibly getting better for the UK’s supply chains in the run-up to Christmas.
Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed that the total number of employed lorry drivers in the UK has drastically fallen from 321,000 in June 2017 to 268,000 in June 2021.
This means around 53,000 HGV drivers in the UK has fallen in just four years which is mainly due to Brexit, Covid-19 and many switching careers. During the above mentioned period, almost 34,000, or about 29 percent of lorry drivers of those aged 46 to 55 years left the profession.
Duncan Buchanan told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee of MPs that there are widespread shortages of lorry drivers, which are leading to delays and frustrated trips. “Among our members, we are still getting reports that this hasn’t eased at all,” he said.