Wood pellet deliveries could be affected by the huge loss of lorry drivers throughout the UK.
Industry chiefs have warned that the UK is facing an autumn of delivery delays because of a loss of up to 100,000 lorry drivers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. This might threaten the lead times of your wood pellet deliveries.
Truck driving in the UK has been dominated by eastern European drivers in recent years but many have returned home during the pandemic and found it difficult to return. The industry has also blamed changes to the tax treatment of drivers’ pay for damaging recruitment.
The trade group Logistics UK has said almost 30% of its member firms were hunting in vain for drivers.
The UK government has held emergency talks with retailers, logistics groups and wholesalers as the shortage of lorry drivers threatens to delay deliveries across the country. Potential solutions to the driver shortage include relaxing restrictions on working hours and increasing capacity for HGV driving tests and training to help bring in new local drivers.
Officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are understood to have discussed potential solutions, including relaxing restrictions on drivers’ working hours and increasing capacity for HGV driving tests and training to help bring in new local drivers.
Defra is also considering putting drivers on the official shortage occupation list to help make it easier to bring in workers from overseas.
There are also fears the problems will worsen once hospitality businesses are able to fully reopen in the coming months.
Current driver shortages have been creating 48 tonnes of food waste each week – that’s the equivalent of two truckloads.
The problem has been around for some weeks but concerns have risen as the industry struggled to cope with a sudden surge in demand for salads and other hot-weather foods during the recent heatwave.
“It was a double whammy: no lettuce, and no drivers to get more,” one retail source said.
The lack of drivers is adding to problems with worker shortages in packaging, production facilities and warehouses.
Our message to you:
‘If you can order more than one pallet of Woodlets at a time – please do so. We don’t want you to be without your Woodlets as the cold weather returns and when demand increases. Delivery lead-times will inevitably be longer as we head towards autumn – please allow seven working days…’