The shortage in HGV and lorry drivers in the UK the past couple of years has made things incredibly difficult for the freight industry, and the situation remains difficult, especially as it is now difficult to hire warehousing staff.
Production supervisor at Ark-H handling near Bedfordshire, Zsolt Oldal, has said “Normally at this time of the year all of our clients are running promotions, so it is busier.
“Obviously we can feel the effect of Covid, but we are two or three times busier than normal.”
He says the pandemic has meant the firm has “seen an increase in e-commerce but less in retail and business to business”.
The company is “prepared” for the festive period, he says, admitted “it does feel pressured” but is confident the staff will cope.
The commercial director at Ark-H Handling, Neil Horton, says recruitment is “quite a significant challenge” and that the issue is “both finding the right people with the right skill set and with the attitude to a really good job for our clients”.
He admitted pay is a factor in recruiting staff but also says the industry needs to do work so that employees can understand the career opportunities.
In areas like Bedford, with links to the M1, A1 and A6, warehousing and logistics is a growing industry, which means competition for employees.
“It’s about finding a way to differentiate from other employers by offering things such as training and career opportunities,” he says.
CEO of the UK Warehousing Association, Clare Bottle, said her members had reported having to increase pay by between 20% and 30% to secure workers for entry level jobs. She had also said that she believes “we’re tens of thousands short”.
If you have any questions regarding the warehousing staff shortage, please get in touch.