Christmas is upon us (for the logistics industry anyway) and what do you need most at this time of year?  It’s simple, HGV drivers and roll cages!

The UK logistics sector is renowned for its efficiency but the RHA estimates we are 100,000 HGV drivers short of the pre-pandemic number of 600,000 and it’s having a serious impact.  With its astoundingly consistent ability to spot the blindingly obvious, after the event, the government has proposed to speed up the HGV driver qualification process, but I suspect it will be too late to save Christmas this year.

To give them their due though, the government has resisted pressure to relax visa rules on foreign drivers, thus preventing an influx of cheap labour and a return to the old problem of too few domestic drivers.  This has increased the wage bill, but we were running on an artificially cheap logistics model anyway.  The changes will free up examiners and increase the number of test slots. So assuming parliament can act for the good of the country for a change, 2022 might see the problem resolving itself as a predicted 3,000 new drivers can be tested every week.

With roll cages, the problem is the cost of sea freight.  Post-pandemic, the price of a standard roll cage has increased from £75 to £120 and, as a result, no-one is ordering new assets.  The focus now has to be on hanging onto what you already have.  At the same time, the market in second-hand cages has become cut-throat.  The result is a major shortage of roll cages. So even if you are lucky enough to find the drivers for the empty vehicles, you don’t have the right equipment to move the goods to stores, hospitals, etc.

So if you want to get your own cages back and you want to know who was holding onto them, give us a call at ACQSYS, the only national asset recovery business in the country.