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Skills shortages in the logistics sector stretch beyond the role of HGV driver, with companies providing warehousing warning that they have been in “crisis mode” for two years.

Data released by Logistics UK showed that 96% of UK haulage firms were now reporting problems recruiting lorry drivers, but that more than 13% of businesses said they were experiencing severe to very severe problems hiring warehouse staff.

The business group said this was in contrast to September 2020, when no respondents to its performance tracker reported facing such difficulties.

The study follows complaints by the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) that publicity around the UK driver shortage failed to reflect wider labour shortages in logistics.

Clare Bottle, UKWA chief executive, said: “We have fewer workers than we used to have and some of this is down to Brexit.

“15% of HGV drivers were EU nationals, but the proportion of forklift truck drivers is 34%.

“If anything, warehousing has been hit harder than driving by the exodus of people from our workforce.”

Bottle added: “People in the supply chain have been working in crisis mode for nearly two years, with insufficient resources; they are exhausted, and it is simply not sustainable.”

Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at Logistics UK, said supply chain disruption would continue until crucial roles in warehousing, as well as mechanics, fitters and technicians, were filled.