Could The HGV Driver Shortage Be About To Ease?

December 18, 2021

Unless you’ve decided to spend the last year cryogenically frozen, you can’t have missed the issues that have been caused by the sudden shortage in long haul lorry drivers across the country.

The run on the petrol stations, which even included the army being called in to help deliver fuel to some places, hit the British economy hard and, while cars may be back on the road, the pressure on companies to keep their freight moving has been intense.

Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

Whilst a post-Covid (or least, post-Covid round one), post-Brexit Britain is still a difficult place to guarantee any stability – the trade group Logistics UK says that there are promising signs that pressures may begin to ease.

In a recent statement, the freight and haulage business association said that the number of drivers leaving the profession is slowing, and more trainees are coming through the testing system.

The Logistics UK Policy director, Elizabeth de Jong, stated the sector saw ‘green shoots’ of recovery. There will be an improvement in numbers in a few months when the new drivers finish training.

In It For The Long Haul

However, the chronic shortage is far from over and Logistics UK has stated that the government and industry still need to take more action to make the sector attractive to recruits.

By early autumn this year, there were 44,000 fewer drivers than in 2019 – but there has been a significant increase in applications for provisional HGV licenses and drivers taking the test. And even if the predicted rise happens a few months from now, that’s far too late not to affect Christmas spending.

Good News For Traders

However, the potential volatility here is attractive for day traders, no matter the outcome.

Supermarkets and fuel suppliers have both been hit hard by this drivers crisis – so a bit of a gain in those stocks (£BP, £OCDO, etc.) is far from unlikely. Keep an eye out for a downward reverse soon enough though.

Commodity traders will also be interested to see how the already volatile price of oil itself will be affected by this.