The chaos experienced in recent days in the United Kingdom due to the shortage of certain products has hardly surprised the transport organizations. Because the union has been warning for years of the tension that Brexit was going to cause on the supply chain. A phenomenon that has only triggered the costs and bureaucracy of workers who travel to the islands.
“For the carrier, going to the United Kingdom today is a nuisance,” explains the general secretary of the Spanish Confederation of Freight Transport (CETM), Dulsé Díaz, in statements to this newspaper. The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union has caused a flight of drivers to other countries. In addition, the country has lost its attractiveness as a route. «Before, many carriers entered with Spanish products and left with British products that were sold abroad. Now this option has been limited by the amount of bureaucratic obstacles that exist ”, explains Dulsé.
All these “new roles” lengthen the trips; the routes that used to be done in a week are now no less than 10 days. And in the sector, time is money. «The main problem is that the exporters who hire you from Spain they don’t want to pay the extra cost of traveling to the UK. They do not understand that the situation has changed and now there is a border, “says the Secretary General of CETM. Precisely from this Friday it will be necessary to carry a passport to travel to the United Kingdom: the DNI will no longer be valid.
But it’s not just Brexit that hides behind the British crisis. Leaving the European Union has exacerbated the shortage of staff in the UK, but according to the carriers, “the driver shortage is an international phenomenon.” According to CETM calculations, Spain needs 15,000 more drivers in the next three years to avoid shortage problems in the future.
From Fenadismer, another of the large employers in the sector, they have demanded measures to make the profession more attractive to guarantee generational change. “Lack of quarry,” says Díaz. In his words, young people are not entering road transport “because they do not want to sacrifice work-life balance for a job that does not offer salaries as high as it should”. The solution, for the group, is to ask the shippers for help to make the conditions of this work more favorable.
The International Road Transport Organization (IRU), a European transport employer, estimates that the shortage of professional drivers will grow by 25% throughout Europe in 2021. Furthermore, it points to Spain as one of the territories in which the gap of professionals will increase to a greater degree this year, specifically 150%. According to their calculations, 72% of professional vehicle drivers in Spain are over 50 years old.