If you’re not a child still celebrating having a few days off school thanks to the snow, the chances are you found the whole ‘Beast from the East’ episode something of a nuisance.
Hearing the weather warnings, you may well have been among those who stocked up on staples – milk, bread and so on – to ensure you were well-supplied for the cold snap.
The result of which was, of course, bare supermarket shelves. Because just as we couldn’t get out and about, the same was true of the hard-working men and women in the transport sector, who did their level best to keep up their deliveries, some becoming stranded in their vehicles in the process.
It’s clear from what happened this weekend that, without lorry drivers, we’d be faced with bare supermarket shelves every day!
So maybe it’s time we didn’t take the transport sector for granted? Because, when something hits – like the snow – it’s all too apparent how tremendously important drivers are to ensure we can put food on our plates.
Why we need drivers
More than half the food we consume in the UK – around 51% - comes from abroad, with 30% of that coming in from the EU. It all has to get here somehow; once here, it needs transporting to depots, distribution centres and stores. We need trucks for deliveries and we need the drivers to drive them.
Recruitment agencies, like 24-7 Staffing, play a very important part in this whole system by placing drivers with employers. We’re an important cog in the transport sector wheel which never sleeps.
Indeed, we’re proud at 24-7 Staffing to be among a handful of agencies to be part of the Freight Transport Association’s Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme (DAAS), which was set up in 2015 to help improve agency standards.
It is great to see local transport training companies, such as WTTL based in Devizes, working hard to help out more drivers on the road. However, we can’t ignore the increasing problem we have of a shortage of skilled drivers in this country. We need to do more to get people into the industry, and investment in training and increases in salaries would help this.
So, back to the snow and the supermarket stock. The bare shelves are now filling up again as the roads clear and the lorries are able to get through. Panic over.
Maybe next time you get stuck behind a lorry, cast your mind back to last weekend and remember that without that lorry transporting its goods across the country, you may well have to do without.
Let’s hear it for the lorry drivers! If you are interested in a rewarding career in transport, or you are missing life on the road and want to get back behind the wheel, please get in touch with the team.