Delivery driver shortage most acute in Edinburgh
DPD has been hiring thousands of drivers (pic: DPD)
Edinburgh is suffering the UK’s biggest shortage of delivery drivers as many return to work in the hospitality and retail sector.
Delivery jobs were a lifeline for many jobseekers during lockdown, but the reopening of bars and restaurants as well as non-essential shops, including the new St James Quarter, has led to a rise in vacancies.
Driver numbers in the city tumbled by more than half (54%) between March and June while the number of available shifts posted by employers spiked by 131%, says online marketplace Indeed Flex.
With London seeing the number of available drivers decline by 14% and available shifts rise by 53% it means that anyone looking for delivery driver work in the two cities will have no trouble finding shifts.
By contrast, employers in the Midlands should have an easier time finding drivers as the number of available drivers there is up 38% while shifts are down 20%.
The number of temporary delivery drivers available for shifts across the UK has fallen by over a quarter and the number available for work last month is down almost 29% on March.
The number of delivery shifts needing to be filled has risen by 15.6%.
Last year parcel delivery firm DPD said it was creating 3,500 drivers’ jobs in response to the “unprecedented boom” in online shopping brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figures coincide with concern by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) that there is a nationwide shortage of around 100,000 HGV drivers, caused by an exodus of European drivers after Brexit and as the ‘pingdemic’ forced many of the UK’s remaining drivers to isolate at home.
Businesses’ demand for ‘last mile’ delivery drivers remains high, with online purchases still making up over a quarter of all retail sales, up from a fifth before the pandemic.
Jack Beaman, CEO and co-founder of Indeed Flex, said: “The logistics sector stepped up admirably last year, keeping millions of locked-down Britons supplied with food and essentials.
“The surging demand for delivery drivers also proved a lifeline for many people whose jobs in hospitality, tourism or high street retail came to an abrupt end.
“Now as lockdown restrictions ease and many of the temporary drivers who kept Britain moving in its time of need are boomeranging back to their old jobs.
“The trend is happening at the worst possible time for logistics businesses who are simultaneously grappling with the post-Brexit shortage of drivers and a ‘pingdemic’ which is forcing many staff to stay off work to isolate at home.
“The news is better for those looking for temporary work as a driver. They’re in the driving seat like never before; as flexible workers with an in-demand skill, they can pick and choose the shifts that suit them best.”