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Palletline heralds contributions of HGV drivers amid supply crisis

One of the UK’s leading freight distribution companies is leading tributes to hard-working lorry drivers as part of National Lorry Week.

Palletline is proud to support the event, which runs from 25 to 31 October, and was introduced by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) to highlight the vital and often-overlooked role that the logistics industry plays in British society.

Logistics professionals deserve extra recognition this year because of their extraordinary efforts in the face of Britain’s driver shortage, Graham Leitch, Group Managing Director of Palletline, says.

“Our drivers and other staff have worked incredibly hard to keep the wheels of the British economy turning in unprecedented circumstances,” he said.

“Palletline’s network has more than 3,600 drivers involved in the delivery of goods within any 24-hour window.

“We move more than 20,000 pallets a night containing vital household provisions and other goods families the length and width of Britain depend on. Logistics is a vital and often underappreciated industry and we support the RHA’s efforts to recognise and celebrate it.”

The company is doing everything it can to recruit, train, and attract new drivers amidst the shortage through its own programmes and driver academies throughout the network – but Graham says the UK Government needs to do more to help.

An RHA survey of its members estimates there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK.

Graham added: “It is not as simple as 30,000 EU drivers leaving the UK. There is a backlog of 56,000 drivers waiting for tests that needs to be addressed at a political level.

“We as an industry understand we need to invest in resolving the driver shortages. Throughout the Palletline network, we have seen an increase in driver wages of more than 20 per cent since Easter and some members have implemented driver academies.

“And more needs to be done to attract more young people into the industry with outreach initiatives like driver apprenticeship schemes.

“However, there is a responsibility and requirement for the Government to help us by reducing the backlog of tests. This takes investment.”

Established in 1992, Palletline operates a UK-wide network providing cost-effective pallet distribution to thousands of businesses and customers across Europe.