UK supermarket supply thrown into chaos over ‘catastrophic’ truck driver shortage

UK supermarket supply thrown into chaos over ‘catastrophic’ truck driver shortage

UK food supply: Government slammed by lorry driver

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Food shortage may lead to bare shelves in supermarkets as Britain’s supply chains struggle with a chronic shortage of lorry drivers. Good Morning Britain has reported on what suppliers are warning are “catastrophic levels” of drivers due to Brexit and Coronavirus. GMB correspondent Richard Gaisford has said the Government is undergoing emergency talks to try to solve the problem.

Mr Gaisford said: “Operators like this play a really big role in getting our fresh food to the supermarkets and they just haven’t got the drivers to do it at the moment.

“And the producers and the suppliers we are talking to at the moment are saying it is starting to pile up now and it is not getting to where it should be.”

Turning to Kevin Puleston, owner of the Gela Freight Services, Mr Gaisford asked: “What’s the situation like for you?”

Mr Puleston replied: “I run five vehicles at the moment I am three drivers down.

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“It is just crazy.”

“So more than half the drivers you need you haven’t got,” pressed Mr Gaisford.

“I mean who are you blaming for this?”

Mr Puleston replied: “I blame the Government, at the end of the day they are just walking into it blindly.

“They knew three years ago what was happening with the tax the new regulations etcetera and you have got the small individual driver with his limited company, predominantly European I think, and they have just gone home.”

 

 

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“So no European drivers,” added the GMB reporter

“And that is part of the problem this seems to be a perfect storm not just of Covid and the fact that people have not been able to get their tests to get through the system.

“But also Brexit European drivers who were being relayed on just haven’t come back into the country since.

“And also as Kevin mentioned there so tax changes, the producers we are talking to well they are really warning of big problems ahead.”

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Fresh produce supplier Tim O’Malley told GMB: “It is going to get worse before it gets better.

“There is no quick fix.

“Anybody that I speak to can see this going on for the next three to six months and when we really start getting busier as a nation in September gearing up for Christmas.

“We are going to have problems.”

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