Why is it hard to recruit in the Transport & Logistics sector in the UK?

Recruitment Transport & Logistics UK

The Transport and Logistics sector is a very important part of the UK economy.

It contributes to 11% of the UK economy, when we exclude financial activities, and employs 8% of its total workforce. 

The UK is actually one of the world leaders in logistics, ranked 8th by the World Bank, ahead of the United States.

Are you shopping online? 

You’re not alone!

With £67bn of retail sales happening online in 2017 (up from £33bn in 2012!), and growing, what the UK needs is an efficient supply chain. 

The UK is experiencing some challenges in the Transport and Logistics sector – its infrastructure is weaker than its competitors and it suffers from skills shortages. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • what we mean by the ‘Transport and Logistics’ sector
  • how many people are employed in Transport and Logistics
  • what’s next for the sector: what are the major infrastructure projects ahead of us (£222bn to be invested by 2020/21!) and the challenges of the sector
  • how to deal with staff shortages

Ready, steady, go!

Aviation is one of the sub-sectors in Transport & Logistics

What do we mean by Transport and Logistics?

According to the definition of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the Transport and Logistics sector includes:

  • Aviation
  • Buses and Coaches
  • Freight forwarding
  • Port, maritime and waterways
  • Rail
  • Logistics and Supply Chain
  • And all the roles surrounding transport and travel planning and operations management

How many employees are there in the UK?

There are 178,295 logistics companies in the UK, with an annual turnover for the sector of £1 trillion!

The Transport and Logistics sector employs 2.5 million people in 2017 according to the Freight Trade Association, the UK transport trade association. 

This represents 8% of the total UK workforce – that’s not negligible!

This number includes close to 300,000 people (11%) who come from the European Union.

Traffic jams in London due to the number of commercial van drivers and cars

How many vehicles are there in the UK?


Did you know that in the morning peak hours in London, commercial vehicles (e.g., delivery vans, freight vehicles) represent 20% of all circulation in London, and even one third in Central London!

You’re probably very aware of this if you’re a Londoner driving to work!

To give you a few facts and figures, there were 4 million vans on the UK roads in 2016, 152bn tonne km goods were moved by HGV vs. 17bn tonne km goods by rail.

This is increasing with more and more of us shopping online and requesting online deliveries. 

What’s next in the Transport & Logistics sector?

Even though the UK is a global leader in logistics, ranked 8th by the World Bank, its infrastructure is weak.

In a nutshell, we’re lagging behind our competitors when it comes to the quality of our roads, rail, port and air transport infrastructure.

Competitiveness of the UK transport and logistics industry vs. the rest of the world
Source: Logistics report 2018 – Freight Transport Association (FTA)

To address this issue, the government has launched a big programme of investment the GMPP (the Government Major Projects Portfolio).

As part of the GMPP, £222bn should be invested in major infrastructure and construction projects by 2020/21 across the UK. 

The pipeline of projects includes:

  • The Trans-pennine Route (£3bn)
  • The upgrade of the A14 from Cambridge to Huntingdon (£1.5bn)
  • Heathrow third runway, subject to a vote to the Commons in 2018
  • HS2
  • Crossrail
  • The Silvertown Tunnel in London (£1bn) subject to approval
  • Hinkley Point C
Images of trucks - important skill shortages in the driving industry. This is where TempaGoGo can help. To find good driving recruitment agencies in London.

What are the challenges in the Transport & Logistics sector?

Staff shortages, in particular shortages of drivers, is one of the big challenges of the Transport and Logistics sector.  

It’s estimated that there’s a shortage of drivers of around 45,000 – 60,000 people in the UK. 

This has been the case for years, which is compounded by the ageing population of drivers and the launch of major infrastructure projects. 

According to the 2016/17 Talent Shortage Survey (UK focus) from the Manpower Group, drivers (e.g., truck drivers, lorry drivers, heavy goods drivers, delivery drivers, heavy equipment and construction drivers) are the second hardest skills to find in the UK, after skilled trades.

This is due to a combination of factors:

  • The transport and logistics industry finds it hard to attract young people
  • Acquiring an HGV (LGV) licence is expensive
  • There has been a lack in investment in drivers and drivers training
  • The drivers’ lifestyle is difficult
  • There are poor roadside facilities

The shortage could be even worse in the years to come as the driver population is ageing, while the growth of online shopping and home deliveries is increasing the need for drivers.

Source: Logistics report 2017 – Freight Transport Association (FTA)

How to address skill shortages in the Transport & Logistics sector?

This is where recruitment agencies can help. 

Have you experienced difficulties recruiting temporary drivers?

TempaGoGo can help!

TempaGoGo is an online platform that helps you recruit temporary staff easily and quickly. 

Simply post your job request on our online platform, from your desktop or on the go, and you’ll find specialised and experienced driving recruitment agencies that can immediately send you CVs of suitable candidates. 

You can then request to hire a candidate, sign the booking online, and you’re good to go!

It’s completely free to use, so why not give it a go?

You can do the entirety of your recruitment in one place, online, to grow your business more easily!

Recruit temporary drivers today!

Have you experienced difficulties recruiting drivers? How did you manage to deal with staff shortages?

I’d love to hear from you!

Caroline from TempaGoGo

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