XMR (2)

The HGV driver shortage has prompted Wimbledon-based logistics business ELB Partners to turn to XMR, a specialist recruitment agency for ex-military drivers, to find skilled, reliable drivers.

Many hauliers are having to rely heavily on agency drivers, but this short-term solution inflates supply chain costs that are difficult to pass onto customers in what is still a margin-sensitive sector, the company says.

ELB is a member of Pallet-Track, which is encouraging its shareholder members to innovate or train out of the skills shortage.

“We have a real issue with getting hold of good drivers," says ELB MD Peter Eason. "I have invested more than £3m in new Euro-6 trucks to reduce emissions in the capital and I certainly don’t want to have to let expensive agency drivers, who don’t care what or how they drive, loose with my new vehicles.

“The guys at XMR are disciplined and reliable and, as a result of their years of service, are more than equipped to drive just about everything that is permissable on the UK roads – their driving licences read like a who’s who of vehicles from trucks to armoured vehicles, and even tanks!"

XMR, which finds driving jobs for ex-armed forces personnel, was launched in 2013 by Capt Peter Wilson, a former Signals officer, who struggled to find work after he left the Army.

He said: “We now have more than 200 businesses on our books and match the right candidates to the right business.

“We now have a database of some 125,000 drivers and have a retention rate of more than 90%. We are also cost effective in terms of what businesses would pay an agency and our recruitment fees are also more competitive than the general market."