With the UK logistics industry feeling the effects of both a post-Brexit shortfall in self-employed drivers and the ongoing after-effects of the pandemic, companies are facing more pressure to retain their talent to meet the demand from the supply chain.

Dan Richards, Chief Commercial Officer of self-employment technology specialist, Wise, looks at the different ways in which firms can harness innovation to improve their workforce processes and increase workforce retention rates.

Dan said: “Whether you’re involved in the logistics industry or not, the effects of the driver shortage are already impacting people whether that’s news stories of product shortages or empty shelves at supermarkets. However, the resilience of the industry has already been shown through the COVID-19 pandemic and now firms are addressing this driver shortfall through a number of proactive means.

“This acute driver shortage is an industry-wide issue and the Road Haulage Association is estimating that the shortfall of drivers stands at around 100,000 workers. As well as offering recruitment incentives, higher route rates and other perks, many companies are using this issue as an opportunity to integrate technology that creates a better experience for their self-employed workforce.

“For decades, the way that main contractors engage their subcontractors has been labour and admin-intensive from both sides, with documentation, onboarding and compliance issues causing the most friction. Now, firms are integrating many of these essential processes into digital solutions that can increase their efficiency whilst also providing a better experience for their subcontractors, increasing retention in the long-run.”

This driver shortage is affecting all areas of the industry, covering both traditional HGV drivers and self-employed delivery drivers for global carriers such as Amazon, DPD and Hermes. Moving forwards, there are a number of different initiatives and changes that are being made by the government, including changes to licensing processes and potential short-term visas for European drivers to plug this immediate shortfall in staff.

Dan added: “As is common across industries, challenges and crises often result in innovation and positive change in the long-term and working with over 250 UK logistics firms, we know just how resilient this industry is and the expertise it holds. We’re proud to be working closely with delivery firms across the UK and to help them use our technology to improve the experience for their subcontractors.”

To find out more about how Wise’s platform is revolutionising the way logistics companies can engage their self-employed workforce, saving time, money and stress – head to www.withwise.com


By Brian