The transport and logistics industry continues to play an integral role in supplying the country with essential goods and services during a worldwide pandemic. As many industries were forced to close indefinitely, logistics companies have conversely been working harder than ever before to meet the increased demands placed upon them.
From the vast number of deliveries in PPE equipment to sky-rocketing amounts of online deliveries, to the relentless pressure of keeping up with supermarket supplies, employees in this profession have been relentlessly travelling the length and breadth of the country.
Output has been vast, to say the least. Heightening the pressure on workers has been the high levels of sickness and absences due to Covid-19 that have impacted all sectors since the pandemic began. However, burnout and stress-related sickness is rapidly increasing throughout the UK’s workforce and the rate in which workers in transport and logistics have pushed through for more than a year is unsustainable and unadvisable; especially when talent shortages are already high.
As a leader in this profession, the need to attract and retain talent is essential. The UK currently faces a troubling driver shortage, not least now compounded by the fallout following Brexit. According to an ITN report in 2020, there is a shortage of 76,000 HGV drivers in the UK – an increase from 59,000 in 2019. Current forecasts predict that the driver shortage could in fact grow to a deficit of 257,000 drivers by 2022.
With nearly 80,000 EU nationals leaving the sector in 2020 and an annual fall of 6.7% in the number of HGV drivers year on year, recruitment is set to be an ongoing challenge. A report from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said, “64% of transport and storage businesses now face severe skills shortages.”
A sector that traditionally struggles with attracting a diverse workforce, the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport reported in 2019 that fewer than one in four of employees in the sector were female. Thus, highlighting the pressing need going forward to re-evaluate recruitment campaigns and take greater advantage of the diverse talent potentially available.
There are evidently significant factors currently hindering the employee experience within Transport and Logistics. Yet, there are simple processes your organisation can put in place to safeguard your current workforce and retain your exceptional talent.
In this industry overview, we discuss the 9 factors that science has shown to determine success through people and explore these in the context of the unique challenges currently being faced by employers in the transportation and logistics sector.