There’s no doubt that these are tough times for all sectors, but the UK haulage industry is perhaps finding things a little tougher than most right now.
While the industry has been praised by the government for ensuring Britain is “fuelled and fed, almost half (46%) of haulier’s lorries in the UK have been taken off the road since the coronavirus outbreak started.
Furthermore, a survey of UK businesses carried out by the Office for National Statistics in March showed that 55% of transportation and storage firms were furloughing their staff in the short term, and 37% were decreasing work hours.
It’s certainly a contrasting picture with some drivers working long hours away from their families, while others are left wondering when or if they’ll be going back to work.
Analysing the shape of the haulage sector at present, recruitment firm Driver Require unsurprisingly expects employment growth rates to take a dive, and estimates them to be lower than average across all sectors.
The firm calculated a 25% drop in total employment across all sectors during the lockdown, compared to a 35% drop in the transport and storage sector, and a 50% drop in LGV driver employment during the same period.
Driver Require projects that, by the end of 2020, total employment levels will only be down 5% and that they will recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023. In contrast, however, transport and storage employment are expected to be down around 15% by the end of the year, and not fully recovering until mid-2026.
The numbers will be a concern for those drivers who are not working right now, either because they’ve been furloughed or made redundant. However, we should stress that they are only early projections and they shouldn’t be taken as fact.
It’s normal to have some worries and concerns right now. It can help to make them known, so please share with us anything you’d like to get off your chest!