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Is a shortage of drivers to blame for a slowdown in retail? reported a leading online grocer recently blamed a 'shortage of drivers in certain locations' for a slowdown in its retail sales growth in the last quarter.

Whenever demand exceeds supply you usually see an increase in price or cost and the shortage of HGV drivers has meant that pay rises of 20 per cent have been made available to attract and retain drivers. As we approach the holiday season, consumers’ appetite for online retailing and home delivery remains strong giving retailers and delivery agents the problem of how they meet increasing demand with a shortage of drivers and control costs.

The RHA reported that “The UK haulage industry is currently facing a shortage of between 45k and 50k HGV drivers

Exchange rate changes and the fall-out from Brexit will make it harder to attract drivers from the EU and initiatives to increase the pool of drivers in the UK will take years to have an impact.

So what can be done right now?

Retailers and delivery operations need to ensure that they extract the maximum capacity from the vehicles and drivers they already have. Technology is the key and an increase in delivery capacity of 35% has been achieved using delivery optimisation solutions from Descartes.

Find out what Descartes can do for you.