Discuss Are lorry drivers (or lack of) having an effect on any of your regular supplies? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Dan

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I keep reading news, hearing on radio and seeing on telly that the lack of lorry drivers is having more and more of an impact on our daily lives and wont stop any time soon. I was wondering if any of you guys and gals have felt this with suppliers running out of anything you use regularly?

Heard anything through the grapevine?

Started to stock up on basic things you use often to help get around this over Christmas etc?
 
SJD

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I continue to keep a modest stockpile of consumer units (one each of most common sizes I use) and typical RCBOs to populate them, due to supply difficulties last year.
 
sparkie141
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I keep reading news, hearing on radio and seeing on telly that the lack of lorry drivers is having more and more of an impact on our daily lives and wont stop any time soon. I was wondering if any of you guys and gals have felt this with suppliers running out of anything you use regularly?

Heard anything through the grapevine?

Started to stock up on basic things you use often to help get around this over Christmas etc?
I can say with all honesty that where I live we have NO shortages in any supermarkets or in the construction materials sector.
However, the story is very different when I speak to friends and family living in the Scottish Highlands. There have been difficulties obtaining certain building materials there since months. When I was there in early July all my family and friends were talking about this. At that point there were not too many gaps in the supermarket shelves. Now according to family the situation is very different. I understand that at one point last week the local Asda had many gaps in the shelves.
I would point out that I live in Spain. So the big difference is Brexit or rather the form of Brexit enacted by the current UK government.
Here in Spain if there are shortages of skilled truck drivers they can recruit more from 26 other countries without complicated visa procedures etc. Indeed it is very common to see trucks with several different countries number plates on the motorway.
 
C
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I keep reading news, hearing on radio and seeing on telly that the lack of lorry drivers is having more and more of an impact on our daily lives and wont stop any time soon. I was wondering if any of you guys and gals have felt this with suppliers running out of anything you use regularly?

Heard anything through the grapevine?

Started to stock up on basic things you use often to help get around this over Christmas etc?
The cordless lawnmower I was trying to purchase from Screwfix is out of stock due to Brexit.
 
D
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I can say with all honesty that where I live we have NO shortages in any supermarkets or in the construction materials sector.
However, the story is very different when I speak to friends and family living in the Scottish Highlands. There have been difficulties obtaining certain building materials there since months. When I was there in early July all my family and friends were talking about this. At that point there were not too many gaps in the supermarket shelves. Now according to family the situation is very different. I understand that at one point last week the local Asda had many gaps in the shelves.
I would point out that I live in Spain. So the big difference is Brexit or rather the form of Brexit enacted by the current UK government.
Here in Spain if there are shortages of skilled truck drivers they can recruit more from 26 other countries without complicated visa procedures etc. Indeed it is very common to see trucks with several different countries number plates on the motorway.
There in Spain you have front companies in Eastern Europe employing Eastern European drivers. These drivers then operate full time in the richer Western countries, while being paid Eastern Europe wages. Well in the UK now we have left your common market, the slave employers have been caught out. So yes you can get people from 26 countries, rather like Rome did with its slaves.

And no there is no huge shortage in the UK.
 
W
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I would point out that I live in Spain. So the big difference is Brexit or rather the form of Brexit enacted by the current UK government.

I would point out the difficulties faced by UK businesses due to the intransigent nature of officials in France and Germany (first and foremost) closely followed by the rest of Europe. It is just pure spite.

Covid and Brexit combined have created a perfect storm. I import a small amount of goods from the US and what used to take 5 to 8 days is now three or four weeks, this cannot be blamed on Brexit, it is a global phenomenon.

Previously a container from China of "any" goods was 2500 to 3000 US dollars, right now it is $22,000 and cheaper for some of the goods to be air freighted in. This is what I am finding anyway. Then it gets stuck at the Port or Terminal waiting for "transport" and that could be anything from a lorry to a van.
 
Paignton pete

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No shortages that I can see down in south Devon. Only shortages I have seen are plaster and plasterboard, but the stocks seem to be flowing again.

also possibly shortage of drivers for refuse collection. Not sure if the is is due to brexit or covid isolation or a combination of both.
 
U

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While there "may" be a shortage of lorry drivers this was created by the employers and also the 2007 EU driver CPC directive and IMO is very little to do with brexit. I know a lot of people who have a class 1 licence who have left the industry and won't go back, when there was fewer loads than drivers the employers drove the rate down to as little as £6.50/Hr now they are paying in some cases in excess of £20/Hr and can't tempt drivers back into the industry, for the last 5 - 10 years if you need a load moving that needs an ADR qualified drier it can take days to find one the reason for this is the employers who in time of plenty pushed the rate down to an extra 10p/Hr while the load was on the truck and expected the drivers to pay for the extra qualification and take time off to do the course, one driver I spoke to a number of years ago reckoned the ADR earned him an extra £40/year after the course and time costs

As mentioned in a previous post global shipping is the biggest issue, one of my customers works in shipping and described waking up to the news that the Evergiven was wedged across the Suez canal as a nightmare that will have a knock on effect for many months if not a few years because it put so many ships out of position and missing their port slots. Add in to that the lack of empty containers in the far east because very few empties have been shipped back there is also creating problems
As we come out of the large effects of the pandemic some shipping routes have become become more lucrative to the shipping companies and so they have shifted some fleet assets to those routes that are making the most money

Given that some of the "EU trade" we had was shipping containers destined for the UK but offloaded in Rotterdam to the UK by road, I would like to think that they are shipped directly into the UK now to avoid the draconian EU procedures

It will take many years to get away from the Brexit excuse because to many it is so easy to use, any problems blame Brexit, although since Brexit governments within the EU and the UK government itself are getting very creative with import taxes

Can't say I've seen any shortages although I have seen limits placed on some items. One store I was in at the weekend had a limit of 20 bags of cement but from what I've read that is more down to HS2 than Brexit as HS2 will take something like 3/4 of the production of one cement plant in the midlands for the next 3 years

No news is news if you can't blame Brexit for something
 
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Scotz74

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I used to work in Highways and regularly joined police patrols in Kent. 90% of the lorry drivers we pulled over or were in lay-bys were EU ones with EU drivers from EU countries. It's incredible to say that losing that source of cheap labour is not causing supply issues, let alone the paperwork and customs costs. Yes most electrical supplies are made and manufactured in the far east and don't come from Europe, the cost of shipping containers world wide is high and yes Covid sickness and changes in demand has had a big effect but when our income is falling becuase we've lost virtually half our export market, costs of importing from US/Asia will increase too due to a weaker currency. I'm afraid its inescapable the impact Brexit will have
 
Baddegg

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I’ve spoken to someone before who reckon if his vehicle wasn’t moving he didn’t get paid, ie 2 hour traffic jam = no pay for 2 hours….so as above this whole situation has been caused by greedy employers who drive down wages and conditions because there was always an Eastern European who would not complain! It’s now bitten em on the arse royally 😂
 
mattg4321

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I’ve spoken to someone before who reckon if his vehicle wasn’t moving he didn’t get paid, ie 2 hour traffic jam = no pay for 2 hours….so as above this whole situation has been caused by greedy employers who drive down wages and conditions because there was always an Eastern European who would not complain! It’s now bitten em on the arse royally 😂

This is 100% the reason.

Big businesses bleating they want the return of cheap easily exploitable Labour. They don’t like having to pay a proper wage.

Funny how we were told by project fear that a leave vote would hit the lower paid hardest. That prediction has gone the same way as the others - such as immediate recession, house price crash etc etc. Bottom line is the big boys want cheap Labour and brexit makes that harder.

We were also told that mass immigration from Eastern Europe post 2004 had no effect on wages in this country. Utter [email protected]&&£&s as has now been proven.
 
Leesparkykent

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I’m building 24 houses and have had no end of issues due to shortages. Over the period I’ve had issues with cement, plasterboard, bricks, timber and even PVC tile trim. I’ve managed the whole situation and top of that we’ve seen dramatic price increases on many materials. It hasn’t caused me loads of delays but it’s probably been a 100% rise in the actual time it’s taken to source materials for the right money.
 
mattg4321

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There’s no doubt there are shortages of all sorts of things currently. Coupled with price rises. This isn’t really due to brexit though.

There are materials and HGV driver shortages along with price rises throughout Europe if not the world. Loads of news articles on this. It’s mostly covid related.
 
U

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/I used to work in Highways and regularly joined police patrols in Kent. 90% of the lorry drivers we pulled over or were in lay-bys were EU ones with EU drivers from EU countries.
So are you saying that the 90% were EU lorries driven by EU drivers from EU countries how odd to find that many in Kent.
It's incredible to say that losing that source of cheap labour is not causing supply issues,
That is what has caused the problem with UK class 1 drivers leaving the industry because of employers pushing down the rates to push up their profits and now it's biting their rear end they are bleating it's all down to Brexit
let alone the paperwork and customs costs.
What has that got to do with domestic lorry drivers
Yes most electrical supplies are made and manufactured in the far east and don't come from Europe, the cost of shipping containers world wide is high and yes Covid sickness and changes in demand has had a big effect but when our income is falling becuase we've lost virtually half our export market, costs of importing from US/Asia will increase too due to a weaker currency. I'm afraid its inescapable the impact Brexit will have
Where have you been and where are you getting your facts the pound since Brexit has traded at least 10 cents up on the USD, we have moved up slightly against the Euro but I have a feeling that the real picture is that the Euro is being propped up by the European central bank to save face and to perpetuate the "Brexit problem"
The increase in import costs is down to shipping costing more due to supply and demand making some routes more profitable and with a lack of empty containers in the far east exacerbating the problem of shipping goods on that route you have major supply issues and this not down to your mythical weaker currency
 
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pc1966

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  • The immediate problem in transport is down to Brexit - the loss of EU drivers.
  • The short term problem is due to COVID - back logs for training new drivers.
  • The long term problem is the one that gov & industry has been avoiding talking about for years - the dependency on cheap EU labour due to poor pay and conditions and the resulting lack of younger folk going in to HGV driving. Apparently the average age for HGV drivers in the UK is about 55, if that is not screaming a warning then WTF is needed?
 
nicebutdim

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The cordless lawnmower I was trying to purchase from Screwfix is out of stock due to Brexit.

A Kingfisher group employee was telling me a few months back that they had huge supply issues as a result of that container ship wedged in the Suez Canal.

Considering the number of their products that are directly imported from China (I'm thinking own brands like Erbraur and Mac Allister), I'd imagine the significant shortage of containers in China and soaring cost of worldwide freight is having much greater impact on supplies than last leg distribution within the UK.
 
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  • The immediate problem in transport is down to Brexit - the loss of EU drivers.
How about all the UK drivers leaving the industry I know around 10 ex HGV drivers who even with some of the £20+/hr rates being offered have no interest in going back to driving HGV's
  • The short term problem is due to COVID - back logs for training new drivers.
Even without Covid I don't think we would have enough drivers as too many have had enough and are moving away from HGV driving
  • The long term problem is the one that gov & industry has been avoiding talking about for years - the dependency on cheap EU labour due to poor pay and conditions and the resulting lack of younger folk going in to HGV driving. Apparently the average age for HGV drivers in the UK is about 55, if that is not screaming a warning then WTF is needed?
Some of the problem is down to an EU directive back in 2007 that introduced the Driver CPC another part of the problem is the 5 days of training required over 5 years to keep the Driver CPC that a lot of the employers won't pay for or the time to do it, if your an agency driver the rates available have been that low that to fund the training to keep your licence and earn a reasonable living is difficult
Immediately prior to the introduction of the driver CPC the average age of a HGV driver was 56 so not a lot of change in 13 - 14 years
Historically a lot of HGV drivers were ex army but the changes to the defence strategy over the last few decades and the massive reductions of boots on the ground that the army has seen means this is no longer the case
The big issue the industry has to address is that a tramping life does not appeal to a lot of the newcomers to the industry in this tech hungary world we now live in
 
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A Kingfisher group employee was telling me a few months back that they had huge supply issues as a result of that container ship wedged in the Suez Canal.

Considering the number of their products that are directly imported from China (I'm thinking own brands like Erbraur and Mac Allister), I'd imagine the significant shortage of containers in China and soaring cost of worldwide freight is having much greater impact on supplies than last leg distribution within the UK.
Don't forget the 400+ other ships that were stuck waiting for the Suez Canal to reopen and subsequently missed their port slots, one of my customers who works in shipping reckons it will take many months before it returns to something like normal
Something else to factor in is that the cargo of the Evergiven is subject to General Average which could be £20K - 30K per container
 
nicebutdim

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... when our income is falling becuase we've lost virtually half our export market, costs of importing from US/Asia will increase too due to a weaker currency. I'm afraid its inescapable the impact Brexit will have

I suspect others may have misinterpreted your comment to mean the pound has weakened, when you mean exports are down due to weaker currencies in the US & Asia?

Apart from the fact that we were told that the pound would fall through the floor after brexit (another prediction that failed to materialise), I'm not sure that anyone could have predicted the impact Covid has had on markets worldwide.

Another issue affecting the $ is the current US administration. While Trump was disliked by many, sometimes with good reason and sometimes not, his policies certainly strengthed the US economy (covid notwithstanding). In recent times the opposite has been happening and cost of living is spiraling out of control in many states - when people have to spend twice as much on essential products, purchases of luxuries and imported goods tend to fall.
 
nicebutdim

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Don't forget the 400+ other ships that were stuck waiting for the Suez Canal to reopen and subsequently missed their port slots, one of my customers who works in shipping reckons it will take many months before it returns to something like normal

I believe they had a number of containers on the ship in question, but it was the knock on effect I was referring to with the term 'as a result of'.
 
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pc1966

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How about all the UK drivers leaving the industry I know around 10 ex HGV drivers who even with some of the £20+/hr rates being offered have no interest in going back to driving HGV's
That is the underlying problem, a lack of UK drivers, so the immediate impact of Brexit has been to expose this as we (the UK) had been getting by with their services.

It will take a lot of changes to make HGV driving attractive as a career. The increase in pay is one thing, but it is a lot more than that as they have limited services like parking and access to toilets/showers/etc (and less now than 10-20 years ago) hence the "tramping life" you mention. That too can be fixed with more money, and probably it will be, so we just have to get used to higher costs and many years to fix it.

I find it unlikely that "5 days of training required over 5 years to keep the Driver CP" is a real issue, no more than spraks having to update for each new edition of the regs. If an employer can't find the time & money to deal with 0.5% time spent training, they certainly won't fix the other issues HGV drivers face!
 
Paignton pete

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On a more serious note.
the news just showed a daffodil farmer saying the daffodil industry will be no more in this country if he can’t get foreign cheap labour.

cheap foreign labour. That says it all.

obviously we all will be devastated at the lack of daffodils in the future,

however I came up with a brilliant idea. Put wages up to a more realistic level (above minimum wage for starters) and employ British out of work people.

charge more for your daffodils to pay for the wage increase. If the daffodils don’t sell at the higher price your business is not viable, and never has been without paying under the minimum wage to foreign workers.
 
snowhead

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Ah, but we (as in the nation) want cheap sh*t and at the same time we somehow want well-paid jobs.
And the same WE apparently want 300 different types of Olive Oil always available on supermarket shelves as well as 50000 trim / model variations of any model of car and vans and lorries it appears as well.

Wait till the loony anti meat brigade get their way, they'll be wanting 100000 different types of lettuce and nuts.
 
James

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On a more serious note.
the news just showed a daffodil farmer saying the daffodil industry will be no more in this country if he can’t get foreign cheap labour.

cheap foreign labour. That says it all.

obviously we all will be devastated at the lack of daffodils in the future,

however I came up with a brilliant idea. Put wages up to a more realistic level (above minimum wage for starters) and employ British out of work people.

charge more for your daffodils to pay for the wage increase. If the daffodils don’t sell at the higher price your business is not viable, and never has been without paying under the minimum wage to foreign workers.
I know several factories that are trying to recruit semi skilled people for above minimum wage jobs.
most of them are saying, they can’t get people and the locals just don’t want to work.
 
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