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5 Things You Should Know Before Becoming An HGV Driver

Becoming an HGV driver can be an exciting and rewarding career choice, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you dive in. HGV driving requires a certain set of skills and qualifications, as well as a willingness to work long hours and be away from home for extended periods of time.

In this blog, we will cover five things you should know before becoming an HGV driver and by the end, we hope you’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to become a successful trucker and whether this career path is right for you.

1. Starting your HGV journey

Becoming an HGV driver in the UK requires obtaining a Category C or C+E license, which involves meeting eligibility criteria. To obtain a Category C or C+E license, you will need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid UK driving license, and pass a medical examination. You will also need to pass a theory test and a practical driving test that includes on-road driving and manoeuvring exercises.

The cost of obtaining an HGV license in the UK can be significant, with training courses ranging from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds, depending on the type of license you require and the training provider you choose. However, government-funded training schemes are available for eligible candidates and despite the investment of time, money, and effort required, the profession offers high earning potential and job security in a growing industry.

2. Working hours

Concerned about driving long hours alone as an HGV driver? Rest assured that there are laws and guidelines in place to prevent excessive driving. As a trained HGV driver, you are permitted to work up to 15 hours for three days of the week, and up to 12 hours for the other two or three days. It is important to note that there is a distinction between driving hours and working hours. While a driver can drive for a maximum of 9 hours per day, with a possible extension to 10 hours twice in one week, their overall working hours should not exceed 56 hours in a single week or 90 hours over two consecutive weeks. Regulations also require you to take 45 hours of rest every week and take a 45-minute break every 4.5 hours of driving to ensure you’re always alert on the road. So taking frequent breaks is crucial for safety and your mental health

3. Your earning potential

Of course, when looking into a new career, everyone’s first questions is how much money you can earn, so let’s take a look… As an HGV driver in the UK, you can expect a competitive salary which varies depending on your experience, the type of vehicle you’re driving, and the company you work for. According to the National Careers Service, the average salary for an experienced HGV driver is around £30,000 per year, with the potential to earn up to £40,000 or more with overtime and bonuses.

However, it’s important to note that salaries may be lower for new drivers with less experience, although some companies may offer benefits such as paid time off and pension contributions, which can increase the overall value of the job.

4. Opportunity to travel the world

Being an HGV driver means you don’t have to wait all year to save up for a holiday to explore the world. Instead, you can earn money while travelling as part of your job. Your work can take you to various locations, from different parts of the UK on a contract job to exotic destinations in mainland Europe. With a job as an HGV driver, you can see and experience new places and cultures whilst earning a living!

5. There Are Job Opportunities Across Many Industries

Finally, HGV drivers are in high demand across a variety of industries, including transportation, logistics, and construction. This means that there are many job opportunities available, with the potential for high earnings and job security. However, it’s important to research potential employers carefully and choose a company that aligns with your values and career goals.

In conclusion, becoming an HGV driver can be a rewarding career path, but it’s important to understand the obligations of the job before getting started. With the right training, mindset, and employer, you can build a successful career as an HGV driver.

We hope that our blog has provided you with valuable insights into the world of HGV driving and has helped you to determine if it’s the right career choice for you. If you’re eager to take the next step and start your career as an HGV driver, please visit our website to explore the available roles with Drivers Direct.

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The Women Behind The Wheel – A Talk with Recruitment Consultant Kate

As International Women’s Day 2023 approaches, we’d love to celebrate all the fantastic and hard work our female employees put in to keep Drivers Direct trucking. Within our business, we acknowledge that the logistics industry is male-dominant but aim to encourage women to get involved within a range of roles and prove that women can do it too!

We caught up with our female recruitment consultant Kate and spoke to her about how she got interested in her role in logistics, along with her thoughts and experiences of being a woman working in a male-heavy industry.

Let’s meet Kate!

1.Introduce yourself

I have been with Drivers Direct Recruitment for a year and 3 months to be precise. Since starting it has been a great journey and I have gained lots of experience within my job role.

2. What made choose your role as a recruitment consultant?

My late aunt encouraged me to work within recruitment, I had to keep the gene alive! I always remember when I was a little girl watching her doing a payroll. I mean, I couldn’t help back then, but look at me now! I am a payroll master! Or so I think…

Prior to becoming a recruitment consultant, I worked in the mental health industry as a Support Worker. I will be completely honest, I wasn’t sure if I would suit the transport and logistics industry as a 20-year-old woman, but I am so glad I took the risk. This was a completely new career path for myself, and I can honestly say I feel as if I am made for this role.

3. What is one thing you love about your job?

I thoroughly enjoy getting to know all my drivers as this creates a positive attitude to how they work and of course, to how I work too. The professional relationships that I have built with all the transport managers speaks volumes for the job and it doesn’t feel like a job to me anymore. I love where I work.

4. What is your average day/ week like at Drivers Direct?

No day is ever the same within logistics or recruitment, but I think this is why I love working with Drivers Direct. I love learning something new every day and using my knowledge to encourage others around me. The excitement you gain when you acquire a client that you worked so hard to get outweighs any bad day you ever have.

5. What skills and experience have you gained whilst working at Drivers Direct?

Since I have been here with Drivers Direct I’ve gained a lots of experience and I have been granted many opportunities here. For example, I have been given the chance to oversee the Cardiff branch which was a massive step for me. This started out great and it compelled me to be the best consultant I could be.

In addition to this, further down the line I was then offered to monitor the Bristol branch. This again, has widened my knowledge and has given me the chance to try and multitask two branches which I am hugely proud of.

6. What are your thoughts on women entering the logistics industry?

Transport hasn’t always been a female heavy industry. However, it is so refreshing to see how many women are now introducing themselves into logistics. It shows that this fast-paced environment is made for us! Whether this is driving or working offices, both job roles can be a tough performance no matter the gender.

It can be a daunting position being in a room full of male transport managers, but it also creates diversity within the transport sector. It is a fast-paced moving environment I won’t sugar coat that, but it is what we are made for! Multitasking is one of the many things women are good at, and it is needed within this environment. It’s an exhilarating role working in recruitment and when working with a gender equality firm it creates a great atmosphere in the work place.

7. What are your plans for the future?

I would love to attain my HGV licence in the upcoming years and Drivers Direct have encouraged my view to do this. They have also said they will help me along the way, I was nervous about mentioning me gaining my licence but when I spoke with our Managing Director Danny, he was nothing but support and furthered my excitement to attain it. I have not yet taken the next step, but when having find the time, it will be my next achievement for sure.

8. What would you say to others who are looking to join Drivers Direct?

I genuinely feel lucky to be a member at Drivers Direct and I feel valued here. You are not just a number like many other work places. You are part of a team here and it goes a long way. Like all jobs, we have bad days. However, we all pull together (women and men) and face problems as a team here at Drivers Direct.

To find out more about how Drivers Direct support women, check out our website you can also keep up-to-date with all things logistics over Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Our Predictions For The Logistics Industry In 2023

From fuel price hikes and driver shortages to more positive changes like improving infrastructure and the UK’s route to Net Zero, 2022 has served us a whirlwind of unexpected events. But as we see the year draw to a close, we must make expectations for 2023.

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. But at Drivers Direct we like to make predictions for the year head and try best to prepare for anything that might come our way in this industry.

Here’s what our team thinks 2023 might look for the logistics and transport industries.

1. Rising Fuel Prices

One of the biggest implications to the way the sector operates this year, has undoubtably been the rise in fuel costs. From January to June this year, the Russia-Ukraine crisis has been a chief cause of the increasing figures in the UK and across the globe. Petrol prices saw a rise of 16% in 2022, and Diesel costs had a whopping 28% increase! 2023 does not look good for fuel prices either, as in March, fuel duty is set to rise by another 23% according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Whilst this may seem like a worrying statistic, logistics companies have already begun to make the changes to combat fuel issues, and help us towards our Net Zero goal! With companies like DHL already switching to electrical vehicles to battle the rising fuel costs, we are hoping to see a number of companies following suit in 2023 and beyond.

2. Growth Of The Sector

One of the most promising trends for the next tear is a continued downward trend in carrier rates.

At the height of the pandemic, consumer spending on goods skyrocketed and capacity diminished as a result. Due to this, carriers hiked up rates for both sea and land transportation, and service levels worsened as labour shortages and lockdowns caused transportation backlogs. Shippers had almost no choice but to deal with delays and other issues. As demand has levelled off, capacity has increased and backlogs have subsided, this trend has started reversing—and we expect the industry will continue to rebalance in 2023, which is good news indeed.

3. Growth In Employment

Finally, we have some great news on the employment front for 2023, as an independent analysis by Frontier Economics, commissioned by Amazon and backed by Logistics UK, found that logistics is one of the UK’s fastest expanding job sectors! According to the research, the sector has added 190,000 workers since 2019 and has been a major contributor to the development of another 125,000 employment in local areas. Since 2012, employment in logistics has increased by 50%, and in 2023, it’s expected to surpass NHS England as the largest employer in the UK.

At Drivers Direct we’re always keen to help combat the driver shortage, and even partnered with the MoD earlier this year in a scheme to train those out of combat and into a career in transportation.

2023 looks to be a positive year for logistics, but we must always prepare for its challenges. What are your predictions for the year? Let us know your thoughts over on our Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also stay up to date with all things logistics over on our website.

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When’s The Best Time To Apply For A Role In Logistics?

If you are just starting your career or looking to change paths, logistics could be the next step in your career progression. Depending on your situation, or stage in life or work you may be thinking about when is the best time to apply for a role in logistics?

We want to shed a light on a logistics career and that no matter the experience or situation, the timing is always right for starting a role in logistics.

First of all, there are many things to love about working in the logistics industry! As an industry it employs over 2.5 million people and is a constantly growing thanks to a huge boost in online retail and evolving customer expectations. The earning potential within a logistics role can be upwards of £30,000 with many added bonuses!

With many more benefits to working within the industry, staring a role within logistics could be the best move for you.

So, when is the best time to apply?

After education

If you are just finishing education, a role in logistics could be your next step! Many students leave school ready to travel the world, but in this current financial climate that can be less achievable for some. With a logistics role, you can travel the world and earn money whilst driving. Branching into a role like this can also develop your skills in a number of areas that you wouldn’t experience in other jobs. These skills can then be transferable into different areas of a logistics role, or further afield.

Later in life

You may feel the need for change at some stage in your life, and that’s completely normal. However, may feel daunting starting fresh at a late stage in life. Luckily in logistics, the industry is always looking for mature people with experience to enter the role. With many years of experience in other areas of work, you are already ahead with the skills you can bring to your new role, which are also very valuable to the industry.

A change of pace

Being in a job for many years can become tedious, and there’s no shame in looking for new opportunities. A role in logistics can bring a new wealth of excitement into your working life! With great travel opportunities within HGV driving, you can explore places you may have never seen. Specifically for HGV driving, you have a great freedom when it comes to being on the open road. There’s no office politics to deal with! You can relax in your own environment and concentrate on your own tasks at hand.

No matter your age or situation, there’s never a wrong time to apply for a role in logistics. The industry is flourishing, with thousands of people being employed every year. Within logistics there will never be a shortage of work which ensures you have good job security.  No matter how advanced technology gets, good, qualified drivers will always be in demand. 

If you are interested in a role in logistics, you can visit our job section on our website or email us on

You can also look out for updates across our Twitter and LinkedIn

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What Should You Look for In a Logistics Agency?

Logistics recruitment companies play an important role in the supply chain, and choosing the right provider will help to determine the effectiveness, reliability, and efficiency of your operation. Behind every reliable provider, there’s a team of skilled drivers and logistics professionals to help your product get from A to B without a hitch. That’s why it’s important to think about who you want to work with.  A well-chosen provider should form a seamless extension to your transport operation.

At Drivers Direct, we place drivers into temporary and permanent driving roles across a wide, diverse, and loyal client base each week. Our clients include logistics businesses up and down the country that need support with their recruitment strategies. We are one of several businesses that run a similar operation, so what should you look for in a logistics agency like ourselves?

Think About What You Want

What is it that you want out of a logistics partnership? What are your short- and long-term needs? It goes without saying that recruitment companies in the transport sector should have a track record of providing a high quality and efficient service. It is likely that logistics companies will need drivers at very short notice so it is important that your chosen agency is contactable 24/7, like we are at Drivers Direct.

Your chosen company should also have expertise in the areas that meet your needs when it comes to staffing, whether that be HIAB, ADR, flatbed, trunking, fridge work or multi-drop as well as clear knowledge and understanding as to what it is that you and your company actually do.

Capacity and Coverage

In order to make the best choice, you have to analyse exactly what your needs are. What is the number of drivers that you may need, how long is it likely that you will need them for, what is the lead time that you can give your chosen supplier?

Another key consideration is picking an agency provider with a presence within a reasonable distance from your dept.  It is more likely that the agency will have a pool of tried and tested drivers if they are local to you.  Drivers Direct have a network coverage across the UK so it is likely that wherever your depot or company is based in the UK we will have a branch nearby.

Experience and Stability

Another important factor you’ll want to consider is how much experience the logistics recruitment business has and how stable their organisation is. Regardless of the complexity of your own supply chain, it is always better to go with a company that has a few years under its belt.

Not only will this ensure that they thoroughly understand the industry and can deal with any problems that crop up, but it will also mean that the organisation is relatively stable and not likely to shut down or go out of business at a crucial time, leaving your shipments stranded.

Did you know this year marks our twentieth year in business? Keep an eye on our Twitter and LinkedIn for all the celebrations we’ll no doubt be having!

Speed and Reliability

With consumers’ patience thinning and demand for product growing, speed and reliability are two of the most important things to consider when choosing a logistics recruitment provider. With next-day delivery available nationwide and same-day delivery on the rise, e-commerce companies across the UK are competing to make consumption easier than ever. These promises of delivery fall on the shoulders of logistics providers, so it’s pretty important to partner with one who can deliver (no pun intended).

The products also need to be delivered in excellent condition, as the cost of replacements and refunds can be very high if any damage occurs in transit.

These are two main areas that any good logistics recruitment agency will take into consideration. With the ongoing challenges of the driver shortage, this has proved very important indeed.

Customer Service

Customer service is very important in this day and age. You’ll want to choose a logistics provider that prioritises customer service and provides honest and accurate information in real-time. The company should be responsive, with effective problem-solving mechanisms in place for anything that should occur. They also need to manage fluid lines of communication and consider customer service above all else.

Doing your homework in this regard will definitely pay off in the long run. Be sure to ask for references and testimonials from past customers or employees. Here’s a testimonial from one of our employees:

“I have worked for Drivers Direct exclusively for 3 years now. Before DD I had worked for the usual agencies that treat you badly, don’t pay you on time, and never even consider that you are actually a person, not just a cash cow! In the past 3 years, I have never not been paid on time, I have never not had work and any questions I have had have been answered promptly and professionally. They have supported me through family bereavement, through Illness and through other hardships. I have loved every minute of working for DD, but the thing that makes the difference is the people. Without the staff at Drivers Direct you would simply be another agency. It’s your people in the office that transforms you into a tier 1 agency.”

Those were some of the most important things to consider when it comes to choosing a logistics company. Making the right choice is crucial for you and the success of your business, so take your time and do your research. We can’t help but be a little biased when we say that our services are exceptional and should you want to know more you can check out our website or get in touch via our social media (Twitter, LinkedIn) or call us on 01928 572200.

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The Pros and Cons of Clean Air Zones

The Pros and Cons of Clean Air Zones

Clean Air Zones, also known as CAZs, are areas of controlled traffic imposed by local authorities in an attempt to improve air quality. Most commonly found in city centres, CAZs were first proposed in 2015 but only came into force this year. The UK government’s target of a near “net zero” emissions rate by 2050 is thought to be reached with the addition of these new tariffed zones.


The restrictions enforced in Clean Air Zones will be applied not only to non-compliant HGVs but also buses, taxis and most recently, private vehicles. This recent announcement came as a shock to many residents living and working in areas where CAZs have been proposed, but for logistics businesses, we have known for a long time that these restrictions will have an effect on our industry.


Cleaner air is a universally desired outcome, with global warming at a rapid rate, there is no contest that creating an eco-friendly environment is something we should all strive towards. A huge reduction in road emissions is not just a pipe dream but the question has to be asked, are Clean Air Zones the best way to approach this?



Certain Vehicles Are Exempt from Fees

Compliant vehicles will remain able to enter these zones free of charge; for HGV’s this includes Euro 6 engines, which are defined by all vehicles with 14 plate or newer. Buses and coaches that meet Euro VI emission standards, as well as cars, vans and taxis that meet Euro 6 (for diesel engines) or Euro 4 (for petrol engines) are also exempt, that’s as well as any ultra-low emission vehicles with a significate zero-emission range.


Good Deterrents

Clean Air Zones will promptly work as a deterrent for many non-essential journeys, resulting in some drivers avoiding major areas that are suffering from high emissions and major build-up. This could lessen congestion in city centres and leave it open for modes of public transport to run more efficiently.


Apparent Health Benefits

Studies of low emission zones in Germany found significant reductions in particulate matter (PM), which are tiny particles in the air that can get into the lungs and cause health problems. Continued exposure to this form of pollution as it only increases without the introduction of CAZ restrictions, could see a rise in the number of poor health cases related to pollutants.



Financial Implications on The Logistics Industry

HGV’s are set to face steep fees ranging from £50-£100 per day in some cities. The safe transport of goods across the globe is only possible with the successful operation of the logistics industry. Without HGV drivers, the world we’re used to would look rather different. These charges could cripple many businesses which would seriously impact the logistics industry and its revenues. This could lead to the distributions of goods being delayed, and services impacted negatively.


Contributing to Out-Of-City Traffic

Cities with operating CAZs may find their emissions problem worsens with the imposed restrictions. To avoid paying the new tariffs many commuters and hauliers may choose alternative routes, accumulating more miles and producing more emissions in turn. Discouraging drivers from the area is likely to have an effect on the situation outside of the zone, creating more out-of-city traffic and increasing fuel consumption with the extra miles covered in order to avoid the CAZ.


Increased Volume of Vehicles on the Road

With HGVs facing heavy charges, and some cities proposing complete bans/time restrictions, the haulage industry may have to rethink its delivery strategy. The largest lorry can carry the load of 20 vans but unable to enter the city, HGV drivers may have to downsize in order to complete deliveries. This will end up increasing the volume of vehicles on the road, therefore adding to congestion and emissions.


Surely these knock on effects are counterintuitive?


What do you think, are Clean Air Zones the way forward or a step back? Let us know your thoughts over on our Twitter page.

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The Effect Of The Fuel Duty Rise On The Economic Recovery Of The Logistics Industry

This autumn, during the budget review, it is rumoured that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering ending the current freeze on fuel tax, FleetNews reports. This could see fuel duty increase as much as 5p, resulting in a spike in overall costs per litre. It’s thought that this move is being considered following the Coronavirus crisis, and the impact the pandemic has had on the British economy. However, ending the freeze on fuel duty would bring harsh implications for the logistics industry, which is already in a recovery period following the hard times of this year.

As such, the organisation FairFuelUK which is backed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Logistics UK (formerly FTA), has said it will “fight tooth and nail” against these plans.

The end to the fuel duty freeze would undoubtably result in a rise in this type of tax, and to no limit too. Below, we’ll discuss what that could mean for the logistics industry, and how it might impact the sector’s economic recovery that follows the Covid-19 pandemic.

What Was The Impact Of Covid-19 On The Logistics Industry?

Covid-19 brought down tough times on most businesses in the UK, logistics was not exempt from that.

Following the shutdown of restaurants, some retail stores and other entertainment facilities, there was a big disruption to the supply chain. According to TouchStar, at the end of March, 76 per cent of people surveyed in the logistics sector said they’d experienced a general downturn in business. By 3rd April, 69.5 per cent of companies asked had scaled back or suspended operations.

However, logistics was one of the businesses that did keep ticking through the pandemic to a certain degree. Drivers are amongst our key workers, and the country relied on logistics operators to keep shop shelves full, as well as to transport crucial medical supplies.

Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, many are now reporting normal supply chain performance, TouchStar reports. Nevertheless, lasting damage is evident and the logistics industry is still in a recovery phase of sorts.

What Could A Fuel Duty Rise Mean For The Sector?

A lift on the fuel duty freeze would mean this tax could rise without limits. Meaning that the cost per litre of petrol and diesel, will more than likely increase, shortening profit margins for logistics providers and raising expenditure. With the sector already in recovery, an implication of this magnitude could result in:

  • Issues with logistics recruitment and closing the skills gap
  • Longer time taken for sector recovery
  • Less budget for innovation within the sector
  • Disrupted supply chains due to less resource available
  • Logistics providers being unable to operate at normal capacity
  • Service prices may have to increase to recuperate losses

Despite the consideration of higher tariffs, UK drivers are still the most taxed in the world when it comes to fuel, according to FairFuelUK. They also predict that had the fuel duty escalation continued as planned from 2011 onwards (as opposed to being frozen), then fuel duty today could be as high as 83.33p per litre rather than 57.95p per litre, a 43.8% increase. This poses a serious expense not only to logistics companies, but household drivers too.

Currently, rates are capped at 57.95 pence per litre for petrol and diesel but lifting the freeze could see this figure rise by as much as 5p.

An increase of this magnitude could seriously impact the recovery of the logistics industry following months of uncertainty. Higher fuel costs, meaning the price per job increases and either profit margins get lower, or prices have to increase. Either outcome is not favourable for logistics providers and their clients, this is why the industry must rally behind the likes of FairFuelUK, who are imploring the Government to consider the logistics sector, and what the end of the freeze on fuel tax could mean for it.

What Happens If Fuel Duty Remains Frozen?

A freeze will give the industry the chance it needs to get back on track, and to continue servicing the country in the way that it did post, and even during the national lockdown. What are your thoughts? You can interact with us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and remember you can engage with FairFuelUK to help to urge the chancellor to continue with the fuel duty freeze this autumn.

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Border Operating Model EU UK

What Impact Will The Border Operating Model Have On The UK Supply Chain?

Last month, we talked about how the lack of Brexit attention might impact the logistics industry, today we are taking a deeper look into the Government’s latest update for the UK-EU borders which will significantly impact the logistics industry: The Border Operating Model.

It has certainly been a strange time, over the last few months. The Coronavirus pandemic came as a shock to everybody, and as such, all attention has been focused on handling this crisis. Perhaps inevitably as a result of this, there has been less attention on Brexit, and reaching an agreement by 31st December 2020, the end of the transition period.

One sector directly affected by this is logistics. To afford the industry extra time to make necessary arrangements, the UK Government has introduced new border controls in three stages up until 1st July 2021. This is known as the Border Operating Model.

What Is The Border Operating Model?

The Border Operating Model is a 206-page document that was released on Monday 13th July 2020. It covers the new customs processes that will be phased in over a six-month period, with the border to be fully operational from 1st July 2021. At the end of the transition period later this year, exports from the UK to Europe will face customs checks, including changes to VAT rules, animal and plant health checks, as well as safety and security declarations. As reported by the Financial Times, the nature of these checks will depend on the outcome of EU-UK negotiations.

According to the Handy Shipping Guide, logistics groups have reacted rapidly to these latest UK government plans. The reaction was largely a “metaphorical pat on the head rather than a slap on the back” and when a freight trade organisation says it is ‘keeping its fingers crossed’, the Handy Shipping Guide have argued that this “hardly shouts inspired confidence.”

A sweeping mood across the logistics industry suggests that there is a concern as to whether the measurements required could be put in place in time to secure a smooth transition. There is also still a general interest in getting a favourable deal secured with the EU. Head of International Policy at the FTA, Alex Veitch, commented, “Logistics as an industry is highly flexible and can adapt quickly to changing circumstances, as we have seen throughout the Covid-19 crisis, but nevertheless it is good to have confirmation of a large proportion of the detail of how goods are expected to move between the UK and EU from the start of next year.

”We are advising our members to do all they can to get Brexit ready, for example adapting their systems to produce the right border documentation, working with customers to understand the requirements for each party in the supply chain, and enrolling in trusted trader schemes like CTC Transit. These will all be needed whether or not the UK government strikes a deal with the EU.

“However, logistics businesses are also urging the government to continue pursuing a deal with their EU counterparts as an urgent priority. This will to make it simpler to trade, ensure trucks and planes from the UK have access to the EU, and minimise economic disruption. Logistics is committed to making the new relationship with the EU work, we now need the government to do the same and strike a deal.”

What Impact Will The Border Operating Model Have On The UK Supply Chain & Logistics Industry?

In an article by the Financial Times, it was suggested that the additional checks at the end of the UK’s transition period could cost up to £7bn. There is a general consensus in the logistics industry that it would be favourable to reach a deal by the end of the transition period.

In May, Sarah Laouadi, European Policy Manager at FTA, stressed the importance of this: “With so little time left before both sides are due to take stock of the negotiations and assess whether a deal can be finalised within the Brexit deadlines, it is now imperative that progress is made.

“The EU and UK have a highly interdependent supply chain, which affects so many businesses on both side of the Channel, and our members are keen that this week’s negotiations ensure that the work that is done by so many businesses to trade effectively can continue without interruption.”

The new Border Operating Model gives some clarity to borders and how they will work after 31st December, but even with a phased transition, there are still a number of issues to think about such as logistics recruitment, finding staff qualified and experienced in customs procedures, as well as the lack of time to train new drivers in these areas.

Also, without new technology, there is also the worry that there could be congestion at the border and severe delays, according to BIFA director general Robert Keen.

There are mixed feelings to be had over the new Border Operating Model. Positives include having more clarity and direction in 2021, as well as the partnering news that there would be a further £750m investment to fund new infrastructure, jobs and technology at the GB-EU border to help support any snagging issues. However, the issues remain to be that it could be more favourable to reach an agreement deal by the end of the transition period, so that any concerns from the logistics industry are dealt with in due time.

Have your say by tweeting us at @DriversDirect.

Drivers Direct specialises in the recruitment and placement of temporary and permanent drivers of all classes. We pride ourselves on our ability to work closely with both our clients and applicants to ensure that we provide a quality service to both. You can find out more by getting in touch.

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Brexit trade deal logistics

Brexit & Logistics – What Impact Will A Lack of Attention Have On The Industry?

Since our exit from the EU just under 6 months ago, the focus has shifted away from Brexit over the past few months, with the outbreak of Coronavirus dramatically changing life as we know it.

Covid-19 has impacted the logistics industry in more ways than one, with one being a considerable delay in negotiation talks over reaching a trade deal. With most Government attention channelled into combating the spread of the virus, since Britain left the EU earlier this year, efforts of reaching an exit agreement have been somewhat delayed.

So, what impact will the pandemic have on the relationship between Brexit and the transport and logistics industry? 

The Current Brexit Situation

The current situation, as reported by the BBC, is that deals with 19 countries are expected to roll over until the end of the transition period (at the end of this year). These 19 countries account for around 8% of total UK trade. The other 92%, is still yet to be negotiated.

It has been argued that it is beneficial for both UK, and European countries, to come to a free trade agreement – as no side wants tariffs or quotas. However, it is now up to the governing bodies of each country to negotiate a fair deal with the UK.

Before the outbreak of Coronavirus, both Government and media attention was very much focused on Brexit. We have but a short period to decide on exit agreements, and it can be presumed that this year’s efforts would have been primarily focused on that. Since the country has been dealing with Covid-19, however, attention has shifted onto dealing with this national health crisis and Brexit has moved lower on the list of priorities.

Why Do We Need To Reach A Trade Deal?

1st June saw the latest round of Brexit negotiations underway. It was during this time that Sarah Laouadi, European Policy Manager at FTA urged the UK to progress:

“It is of paramount importance that progress is made now towards the creation of a trade agreement that’s acceptable to both parties.

The UK has outlined its proposed free trade agreement, which the EU has had time to consider. On behalf of those responsible for manufacturing and moving goods on both sides of the border, we are urging both sides to approach next week’s round of discussions in an open and welcoming manner, to ensure that progress can be made on reaching a consensus that benefits both sides. 

With so little time left before both sides are due to take stock of the negotiations and assess whether a deal can be finalised within the Brexit deadlines, it is now imperative that progress is made at the talks. The EU and UK have a highly interdependent supply chain, which affects so many businesses on both side of the Channel, and our members are keen that this week’s negotiations ensure that the work that is done by so many businesses to trade effectively can continue without interruption.”

It can be said from this that it is important to not only the logistics sector, but other industries too, that some sort of trade deal is agreed to protect the UK/EU supply chain.

Faced with a Brexit scenario where no deals are ironed out, possible threats to logistics could include:

  • Reduced trade
  • Stricter border control & tariffs
  • Changes to haulier regulations
  • Immigration control

This outcome could have a knock-on effect on haulier operations, but also if there is stricter immigration control, the infamous logistics skills gap may begin to widen even more. We can help to bridge this gap by changing perceptions and encouraging young talent into the sector, as well as showcasing what a career in logistics has to offer.

There are uncertainties for sure, and whether a deal is reached or not, we don’t doubt that the logistics industry will continue to be a fundamental service that sees the smooth running of day to day life. Even with the country gripped with an international health crisis, our logistics workers have still been putting themselves on the front line to keep shops full, transport medical goods and more. There will always be a need for logistics.

What Impact May A Lack Of Attention Have?

With efforts primarily focused on containing Coronavirus, there is every chance that it may take longer to come to an agreement with the EU; that’s if a deal is even negotiated at all.

In fact, EU Diplomats have even branded it “impossible” to reach a UK-EU trade deal with tariffs in just 6 months; something that was originally suggested to be plausible.

The focus on Brexit is, of course, being used for a cause, well worthy of Government time, but speaking for the Transport & Logistics industry, we would also urge the UK to endeavour to reach a solution that protects our sector.

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International Women's Day with Drivers Direct

International Women’s Day with Drivers Direct

For International Women’s Day this year, we wanted to take the opportunity to show our appreciation for some of the women that work at a selection of our branches.  We talked to them about their careers, the women who inspire them the most and everything in between.

  • What is your job title at Drivers Direct and in what region do you work?

Chrissie Lee: Branch Manager in West Yorkshire

Zoe Parks: Regional Operations Director in the South

Jessica Beecham: Branch Manager in Wales


  • How did you come to work in the logistics/recruitment industry? 

Chrissie: I started working as a Recruitment Consultant in the industrial sector and when I was looking for a new role, my current manager approached me and invited me to meet with him about a new Recruitment Consultant role on the driving desk. I was then offered the job and have never looked back.

Zoe: Purely by accident, I worked in commercial recruitment in London and re-located to the South coast and fell into a job as a Branch Manager for another agency that was opening a new logistics and transport branch in Poole.  Before working in commercial recruitment, I was an Account Manager for Clinique in London and fancied a change, so I went and registered with Reed Employment for reception jobs and they offered me a job as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant.

Jessica: I have always had an interest in the transport sector and a good friend of mine was working in driving recruitment at a time where I was hunting for my perfect long term career. The more she discussed her job role, the more I became interested and the passion to take on something new became more and more desirable. Helping others has always been something that I wanted to be involved with and therefore driving recruitment just seemed to be the perfect match for my interests.


  • How has your background moulded / influenced your work with Drivers Direct? 

Chrissie: Within the driving industry, every day I speak with people from different backgrounds and growing up, I was taught to be respectful of everybody and so this is something I bring in to my working life too.

Zoe: Dealing with people and managing staff previously helped massively.

Jessica: I previously worked as a retail manager before joining Drivers Direct. I believe this gave me the experience and skills required for this job as it was a forever changing environment where daily challenges constantly varied. This taught me how to diplomatically deal with challenging individuals which has become a beneficial and invaluable skill that I generally use day to day. Relationship building has always been a strength of mine and the ones I have with my client have all been built on trust, hard work and honesty. I make the effort to know each individual client’s requirements to ensure longevity between us.


  • Do you have any advice to other women who might be looking to venture into the world of logistics and recruitment?

Chrissie: If it’s an industry where a woman would like to work, I’d say go for it, there is absolutely nothing stopping you or any reason to hold back from pursuing a career in the world of logistics and recruitment! I’m speaking with more female Transport Managers now than I was 10 years.

Zoe: Go for it, Transport and Logistics is for everyone and it’s a great environment to work in and is definitely my most preferred sector …

Jessica: Logistics has always been a very male-dominated environment which has made me even more determined to be the best in my field. There is a stigma around women in transport which we all need to abolish by empowering each other to take the plunge and join an industry that you wouldn’t generally feel associated with. There is nothing I would love to see more than more women HGV drivers on the road. Our skills and input in the industry are as of just as much value.


  • What woman inspires you the most?

Chrissie: My mum will always be my inspiration but then Emily Pankhurst won women the right to vote in 1918.

Zoe: My mother, she has always been incredibly hardworking, loyal and had the most amazing work ethic.

Jessica: Undoubtedly my mother, she has always been my inspiration to succeed. Growing up in an all-female household with my mother and sister, she has taught us very much how to be independent, strong and to build a future for ourselves. Whenever I do something in life, she will always say ‘you can do better than that’ and push me past boundaries that I don’t know exist half of the time. She will never allow me to just settle unless I have given something 100% and without her pushing me along the way, I wouldn’t be where I am now at such a young age.


  • What have you learned / changed on your career journey at Drivers Direct?

Chrissie: When I first started working in the driving recruitment industry, I’d mainly be speaking to men every day and, in all honesty, I was a little nervous as it was very much a male- leading industry and I didn’t always receive the respect/ warmth I deserved. However, over the years I have pushed myself to show people what I know/ can do, and this has changed things for the better.

Zoe: I’ve learnt that if you invest time in good people you will always reap the rewards and sometimes employing people from different backgrounds and with different experience is the way forward, I’m also a great believer in creating opportunities for the right people

Jessica: When I joined Drivers Direct, the vision was to build a career and to step outside of my comfort zone. I soon discovered that I am more ambitious that I originally thought and have learned that I always want to push myself above what is expected of me. As a naturally passionate individual, I have learned how to deal with the frustrations of being unable to change something that is impossible and use those emotions to drive myself further than I thought possible when dealing with the next obstacle of the day.


  • How do you see the role of women in logistics in the future?

Chrissie: There are many more females working in the logistics industry and I can only see this increasing.

Zoe: I think there will continue to be more and more

Jessica: I see an increase in the number of women entering the logistics sector and have already noticed a gradual change over the last few years. When I first joined the company five years ago, 100% of both my drivers and client contacts were male. We now have a few female drivers who are amazing and would do anything for us which is really inspiring. The number of women in transport offices have also increased where more and more of our client contact are female, the majority entering high levels of management within the sector, which is incredibly empowering, even for me. It just shows that women really can do anything we set our minds to, we just need to have self-belief and courage.


  • Anything else you’d like to add?

Jessica: “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish” – Michelle Obama



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