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UK Haulage: A road to recovery?


COVID-19 and driver shortages

The COVID-19 pandemic has had consequences for the haulage industry. With ongoing Brexit decisions causing great uncertainty around international haulage and the industry already suffering from driver shortages, the pandemic has added further unwanted complications. Recruitment from Europe has been halted and new drivers have been prevented from taking their driving tests due to back-logs, as reported by The Financial Times. Approximately 28,000 HGV driving tests were cancelled due to COVID-19 adding further stress to the haulage industry. With the added complications of organising imports and exports in and out of England, haulage companies are already under pressure to deliver on time. This adds extra stress to existing drivers who may be required to work longer hours, leading to driver fatigue and potential accidents. However, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) are calling for intervention from the Government to ease the driver shortage crisis. Hopefully measures will be put in place to prevent further supply chain disruption which could have problematic consequences across all industries. This being said, the hiring of new drivers comes with its own cautions as they are less experienced and so may be more likely to be involved in an accident. Establishing a risk management strategy may be beneficial in this circumstance and could include the following:

  • Safe driving policies: Strict monitoring of driver breaks and fatigue management
  • Installing telematics devices in your fleet: monitor drivers and allow them to reflect and improve upon their own driving skills
  • Additional driver training programmes tailored to your business
  • Review your insurance policies with an insurance professional

COVID testing guidelines

Current Government guidelines state hauliers must take a COVID-19 test when entering England from any foreign country if they are staying for more than two days, and a further test every following three days. Hauliers entering England for less than two days do not need to take a test. These requirements apply to both UK and non-UK based hauliers. These restrictions have not changed since the introduction of the traffic light system which currently applies to leisure travel only. Individual countries currently have their own restrictions in place in regards to importing and exporting. This means haulage companies need to be well informed and prepared before organising the transportation of goods.

Click here to find a free haulier testing site.

Despite the difficulties of the past two years for international haulage, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) predicts a strong recovery post-pandemic with the volume of trade expected to increase by 8% this year. This suggests it is the optimal time for haulage companies to begin planning and preparing for improved transport and trading conditions.

Contact us to discuss a new or existing haulage insurance policy on 01584 700 190

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