Skilled worker shortage to impact remarketing sector

Lorry driver in cab

A shortage of skilled workers within the remarketing sector is affecting the transport and logistics of vehicles, beyond the widely-reported HGV driver shortfall.

According to Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) members, the current shortage of HGV drivers is “just the tip of the iceberg”.

Delegates at a recent VRA webinar were told that even if the issue of HGV drivers could be resolved, there remained issues with recruiting vehicle technicians, forklift drivers, trained truck roadside tyre fitters and more.

Gavin White, CEO at Autotech Group, said: “The issue is talked about as though truck drivers are an issue in isolation, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are problems right across all kinds of job roles in this area, largely driven by a lack of skills and new talent entering the industry as a whole. HGV is just the tip of the iceberg, really.”

The sector will come under pressure in 2022 if the semiconductor shortage ends and there is increased demand for new car transportation.

Mark Shearer, director of Movex, said: “It’s difficult to see how things are going to develop and there is probably some masking of the degree to which capacity is under pressure. The sector is probably slightly smaller than before the pandemic and could be hit by sudden demand when the semiconductor situation starts to ease. There could potentially be a lot of quite sudden demand. There is definitely some risk in the market.”

Gary Xuereb, commercial director at DMN Logistics picked out rising costs as a particular issue: “There are cost increases that everyone knows about, such as fuel, but there are several others, too. Insurance is going up and the cost of the public transport used by our drivers is increasing. It’s very much an issue although one that we are successfully managing.”

Matt Atherton, head of operations at AT Moves, added that these increases were being managed well so far: “Transport and logistics is having to bear more costs and increase what it charges as a result but so far, customers have been quite accepting of this. They know about the pressures we are under and ultimately, simply need vehicles moving.”

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