The construction sector has reported widespread disruption and delays due to a shortfall of HGV drivers able to transport goods across the country.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) said transport issues were now hitting suppliers to the construction industry, as members struggle to get materials into their stores and deliver orders to customers.

It was now warning of failed deliveries at short notice, as well as lead times for some products being extended.

The BMF said companies were attempting to retrain existing staff into driving roles, but they were reporting difficulties sourcing new and replacement drivers, as well as problems securing test slots.

Jim Parlato, director at Browns Builders Merchant and BMF East Midlands regional chairman, said: “Drivers are our biggest concern at present.

“We have two of our warehouse and yard operatives taking their tests shortly but getting courses and booking tests has become an issue with demand meaning months of waiting.”

BMF South West regional chairman David Young, of Bradford Building Supplies, said it currently had 16 HGV driver vacancies: “We do have 22 internal drivers being trained up but there are not enough test slots available, so this is taking longer than normal,” he said.

ParcelHero said this week that the government was in “secret talks” to call back non-UK HGV drivers to the country on temporary visas, as the driver crisis threatened to undermine the resilience of supply chains.