The UK is facing up to a major container haulage shortage that is disrupting the country’s supply chain.
Some shipping lines and truckers are advising customers they are fully booked for the next two weeks.
The situation is blamed on a number of factors such as underinvestment and surging demand but it is believed that a new EU directive requiring drivers to obtain a training certificate is largely to blame.
From September, the directive requires heavy goods vehicle drivers to obtain Certificate of Professional Competence which involves 35 hours training every five years.
Although many companies have been preparing for this when the directive was announced five years ago, many are simply not ready.
The directive seems to be an additional unwanted burden on already highly regulated industry that has created a spike in driver demand.
Many older drivers have opted to retire rather than put themselves through a training.
Meanwhile, recent months have brought a surge in container volumes. The latest figures from Container Trade Statistics show that in July inbound boxes to the UK from Asia increased 13% on-year.