UK retailers step up battle to lure lorry drivers

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British supermarkets and other major retailers are fighting hard to recruit truck drivers. Salary increases and “Golden Hello” payments make it increasingly difficult for carriers and food suppliers to retain staff.

Desperate to avoid repeating the empty shelves seen in stores last year, grocery stores are trying to discourage drivers from moving to agencies with rapidly rising hourly wages in response to labor shortages. It moved positively.

A British shipping company’s chief executive warns that the move by supermarkets to seduce truck drivers to mitigate the current crisis has little effect in the long run. “All you have to do is circulate the existing workforce,” he said.

Steve Bowles, managing director of Roy Bowles Transport, a freight and storage specialist at Heathrow Airport, said wages “should have risen” but offered high premiums. The company said it was “distorting the problem.”

His business usually employed 40 drivers, but he said it had declined by “about 20 percent.”

The transportation industry in many parts of Europe has a hard time finding enough drivers, but in the UK it is a particularly serious problem. Many EU-based workers have left and many native drivers have retired after Brexit.

According to the UK Retail Consortium, UK supermarkets alone will need an additional 15,000 drivers in the coming months, with the goal of granting non-UK truck drivers a three-month permit of 5,000. A dent in the lack of a temporary visa system for the government.

HGV driver Joseph Oakley said supermarkets are paying the most. “The wage rate went up because they were fighting for a pool of very small drivers,” he said.

Giles Hurley, CEO of Aldi in the UK and Ireland, said he raised driver wages in August. During the summer, John Lewis raised driver wages by about £ 2 an hour, raised the average truck driver wage to £ 45,000 a year, and Tesco and Asda offered a sign-on bonus of over £ 1,000.

According to Andy Prendergast, the state secretary of the GMB union, the scale of recent salary increases among HGV drivers was unprecedented.

“I’ve never seen this in my life. You usually get slightly above or below inflation,” he said. “But employers are struggling to maintain, not only breaking inflation, but actually seeing a double-digit increase.”

At Yodel, a delivery company owned by the Billionaire Berkeley family, GMB negotiated a 20% increase in base salary, and overtime pay increased from 150% to 200% of base salary. This means that overtime has increased from about £ 20 per hour to about £ 35.

Most supermarkets use a combination of their own vehicles and drivers, as well as vehicles from third-party logistics providers such as Eddie Stobart, Wincanton, and XPO. In the food retail industry, the proportions range from Aldi, which employs more than three-quarters of drivers directly, to Iceland, which outsources most of its logistics operations to XPO.

Supermarkets are desperate to avoid repeating the empty shelves seen in stores last year © Justin Tallis / AFP via Getty

Shipping company executives added that the widespread move to raise salaries would inevitably be passed on to consumers.

“In reality, shipping companies are companies that make a profit in the range of 1-5%, so raising salaries will be inherited at some point.”

Supplier already finds it difficult to retain a driver.

Arla, a major dairy processor, said it needed to ax some deliveries in July, and last week Derbyshire-based refrigerated food distributor EVCL Chill said it had a “serious driver shortage.” I came to power because of the influence of.

Richard Wilding, a professor of supply chain strategy at the Cranfield School of Management, said many third-party logistics providers operate under negotiated bids before wage spikes.

They are now faced with the choice of seeing drivers quit for a more lucrative role or raising wages and eroding already thin margins. “Some people go back to their clients and say,’We need to renegotiate this, or the service level will drop off the cliff,'” he said.

Gist, a supplier such as Marks & Spencer, said it has not renegotiated contracts with its customers. “We are pleased to maintain full service,” said Rob Hunt, Director of Business Services.

Gist has set up a fully funded location at the training school and offers a £ 5,000 registration and retention bonus.

“We want to attract people who have left the industry or make them attractive to new hires, and we’re successful,” Hunt added.

Kieran Smith, CEO of agency Driver Require, said hourly wages weren’t the only consideration. “Shift length, start time, paid leave, etc. are also important for drivers,” he said, adding that there was evidence that the premium for non-sociable working hours was rising.

UK retailers step up battle to lure lorry drivers Source link UK retailers step up battle to lure lorry drivers

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