Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

HGV shortage could lead to a watered-down Christmas, Accolade warns

Published:  06 September, 2021

Accolade Wines has warned that truck driver shortages could have a major impact on Christmas sales, with on-going recruitment issues likely to limit stocks and drive up costs.

Robert Foye, CEO of Accolade, told the BBC that the company was being hit by external staff shortages, especially among suppliers in distribution and delivery.

The shortage could exacerbate what is already a very difficult time for the drinks industry, which is already competing with hospitality staff shortages linked to both Covid and Brexit.

“These shortages, if they continue, could definitely impact Christmas. We are trying to get ahead of it, but it does depend on the situation for the entire transport and trucking industry in the UK,” Foye said.

He added that Accolade is aiming to mitigate issues by working closely with its trucking and transport suppliers. Ultimately, however, “costs will go up”.

It has been widely reported there is currently a shortage of about 100,000 drivers, with large pay rises and signing-on bonuses doing little to alleviate problems.

“Staff shortages are definitely there and there’s a whole new group of employees that need to be trained, from truck drivers to restaurant staff,” Foye added.

Previously, Harpers reported that only a third of departed hospitality workers are looking to return to work after the most recent lockdown.

Numbers in the transport sector have also taken multiple hits over the past 18 months.

Back in July, the WSTA’s David Richardson, regulatory and commercial affairs director, said that drivers in the EU and UK are refusing jobs on the basis of uneconomically long lead times to clear ports and the risk of having to come home without a return load.

The difficulties and expenses involved in training, IR35 impacts and poor retention have all heightened the problem.