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The Importance Of Maintaining Mental Health In Logistics

The logistics industry plays a critical role in keeping our global economy moving by transporting goods and products from one location to another. With the rise of e-commerce and online shopping, the demand for logistics services has increased significantly in recent years, leading to an increasingly competitive and fast-paced environment for those working in the sector.

While physical health and safety are important considerations for those working in logistics, the importance of maintaining good mental health is often overlooked. Here at Drivers Direct, we want to explore the importance of mental health in logistics and how drivers across the country can take care of themselves on the job.

The Impact of the Job on Mental Health

Working in logistics can be a demanding and stressful role. Drivers are often required to work long hours, drive long distances and manage tight delivery schedules. They may also face challenges such as traffic congestion, adverse weather and difficult road conditions.

Unsurprisingly, these challenges can have a significant impact on the mental health of drivers, for example, prolonged periods of driving can lead to fatigue, anxiety, and stress. Drivers may also experience social isolation and loneliness due to spending long periods of time on the road. These factors combined can cause depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

The Importance of Mental Health in Logistics

It is crucial for drivers to prioritise their mental health as it can directly impact their ability to perform their jobs safely and effectively. When drivers look after their mental health, they can make better decisions, stay alert, and react quickly to any situation that arises on the road, creating a safer environment for themselves and other road users.

In addition to the safety benefits, taking care of mental health can also lead to greater job satisfaction and improved performance. Drivers who care about their mental health can concentrate better, manage their emotions more effectively, and communicate clearly and positively with their colleagues and customers. This not only helps create a positive work environment but also improves the overall experience for everyone involved.

Tips for Maintaining Good Mental Health

Now that we know that having good mental health is very important when working within logistics, we can discuss how we can maintain a positive outlook whilst on the road.

Prioritise Sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for your mental health. After long hours on the road, drivers should try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Stay Active: Regular exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood. Try to incorporate exercise into your routine by taking regular breaks to stretch or do simple exercises in your vehicle.

Eat a Healthy Diet: Whilst this can be difficult on the road, maintaining a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help to improve your mood and energy levels.

Connect with Others: Social support is essential for good mental health. It’s very important that you stay connected with family and friends whilst on the road. Take regular breaks from driving to contact family through phone calls, video chats, and even catch up with friends through social media.

Take Breaks: Taking regular breaks can help to reduce stress and prevent fatigue. You should aim to take a break every two hours to stretch your legs and rest your eyes.

Seek Help: If you are struggling with mental health issues, it’s imperative that you speak out. You can seek help from a mental health professional or even talk to your employer about resources that are available.

We hope you can take away some points from this blog to improve your mental health and continue a positive and effective journey whilst on the road!

Looking for more tips for being on the road? Check out some of our previous blogs.

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Truck driving on the asphalt road in rural landscape at sunset with dark clouds

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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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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From the Front Lines to The Cab

“Is It Just Driving?” Roles In Transport Explained By Us

The common misconception about jobs in the logistics industry is that it’s “just driving” but in actual fact it is much, MUCH more than that.

The Transportation and Logistics industry is a broad, all-encompassing term for what is, as we all know, a very complex and meticulously planned supply chain. The industry comprises of various jobs, from delivery drivers and warehouse workers to logistics managers and office staff.

What Does A Transportation Role Include?

It can often be hard to navigate (no pun intended) the world of logistics and especially for someone looking to join it. We understand how it can be hard to know where you fit in. But, we’re here to help explain some of the key roles in transport and shed some light into just what it is that they do to keep the supply chain moving.

Depending on the company type and size, logistics employees can oversee:

  • Supply chain management and the order cycle
  • Transport costs, schedules, and delivery times
  • Inventory management of goods and raw materials
  • Business development
  • Service automation
  • Health and safety
  • Inventory and stock auditing
  • Transporting goods or people to their destinations safely
  • Loading and unloading finished goods
  • Moving products or equipment in and out of storage
  • Transportation and logistics skills

Straight away from that, it’s evident that logistics is definitely not “just driving”! This stereotype is often harmful for the industry, there are many key roles that need to be filled but are flying under the radar because they are overshadowed by this perception. Here’s a closer look at some of those key jobs.

Jobs In Logistics Explained


Drivers are what we all think of when we think logistics. They require an HGV license and depending on the vehicles operated and the type of employer, further qualifications too.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Loading and transporting items
  • Delivering goods to destination on time
  • Reviewing orders to ensure all items are correct and the customer is satisfied
  • Helping load and unload delivery and transport vehicles
  • Checking routes and road traffic beforehand
  • Preparing documents and reports for deliveries
  • Maintaining regulation rest times and keeping yourself in check

Logistics Management

Logistics managers oversee the distribution activities within a business. Although they work from the office, they are just as vital as those behind the wheel, making sure everyone else has the tools and information they need to do their job.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Planning and overseeing logistical operations
  • Managing the order cycle
  • Negotiating with clients and customers
  • Handling client account contracts
  • Supervising logistics staff and resources
  • Planning delivery routes and ensuring quality
  • Preparing budgets and managing costs
  • Customers and suppliers management

Warehouse workers

Warehouse workers conduct a wide range of important duties storing, retrieving, and moving stock, supplies, and products. Qualifications are not required to perform the role making it a career opportunity for all. However, a forklift truck license is sometimes needed.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Accepting deliveries and checking packages for signs of damage
  • Packing and wrapping items in preparation for dispatch
  • Monitoring stock levels, conducting checks, and reporting discrepancies
  • Maintaining clear aisles and adhering to health and safety practices
  • Following picking lists and entering data into warehouse databases
  • Using a forklift truck to move palletised goods in and out of storage
  • Lifting heavy objects or light objects repetitively
  • Maintaining stated productivity and quality levels

Warehouse managers

Warehouse Managers are excellent leaders who make sure everything is where it is meant to be on time and safely. They manage the warehouse workers to create one well-oiled machine.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Managing warehouse workers
  • Overseeing deliveries of incoming goods
  • Organising distribution and warehouse maintenance activities
  • Monitoring and ensuring all operations comply with operational policies
  • Maintaining a safe and secure working environment
  • Planning staff rotas and overseeing training

At Drivers Direct, we specialise in placing the right people into logistics jobs and no – it’s not “just driving”! If you’re looking for a new and exciting challenge then why not pop us a message? Or, for more inspiration, read our blog, or follow us on Twitter or 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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National Careers Development Month: Creating A Career in Logistics from Early On

Thinking about getting your foot on the logistics ladder? You’re not alone. Since early 2020 the focus has been on logistics to keep the country running during the hardest of times. The sector’s resilience over the past 18 months has shown it to be an attractive career choice.


The pandemic has increased the importance of the supply chain, and strengthened the need for job seekers to improve their supply chain skill sets. The focus on logistics is bound to increase as top business brains grapple with ways to control the havoc wrought by the pandemic and plot a way forward so that these lessons can be learned for good.


Just What Does a Logistics Worker Do?


In the simplest terms, those connected to the supply chain industry are involved in one way or another in contributing to, or managing the process of, making or procuring goods and ensuring they reach the end-customer on time and in good order, with customer satisfaction and profitability being a priority.



What is the Entry Point for Supply Chain Jobs?

But how can you get into logistics? There are numerous ways to get your foot in the door early on, or even break into the industry at entry-level:


Using a Recruitment Agency

When starting out, many people talk to recruiting companies and head-hunters. This is of particular benefit if you wish to test the waters before committing to one job and one employer. A recruitment agency may be able to find you a temporary position, which, if you prove to be a good fit with the company, could lead to a permanent job.




Look out for industry-type events in your area, as these provide an opportunity for you to meet lots of people. Speak to as many professionals as you can—discuss your various options with them. And don’t be afraid to ask their advice on how to start out in the industry.



Marketing Yourself

LinkedIn is the best platform for this. Put your profile up so that managers can find you. Be sure to include all the keywords for the type of work you want to do. Recruiters and managers are increasingly using social media, LinkedIn in particular, to assess prospective candidates through their links and posts. You can significantly raise your profile by writing and sharing posts—the more the merrier. You can also use LinkedIn to scour the many logistics jobs that are advertised on the platform.



Logistics Companies

Some of the best ways to get stuck in are through logistics companies. You could pick up a job as a warehouse picker, a forklift driver, or even a truck driver. If you lack the qualifications to drive a HGV, don’t worry, pass schemes are easy enough to find and relatively affordable. Many companies are even offering joining incentives which often make up for the cost of training.


Whichever way you decide to join us, welcome! The logistics industry is a great place to work. Join the conversation over on our Twitter or LinkedIn pages and let us know how you got into the industry. For more blogs, click here.

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Career Backgrounds That Have Perfect Skills for Logistics

Logistics, and transport management, are dynamic careers with many roles needing to be filled at the moment. In order to keep the supply chain moving, every part must work in sync with each other, however, not all elements are so straightforward.


Luckily, the logistics sector covers a wide range of jobs. So, whatever experience you may hold, there is sure to be something you can excel at within the industry. Below, we detail the skills and career backgrounds, both generic and specific, that might make you perfect the perfect candidate for a career in transport.


Career Skills That Are Perfect For Logistics


Generic Skills


Whatever your employment and educational background, we’ve found that the essential skills for a career in logistics include:


  • Commercial awareness
  • Numeracy
  • Good problem-solving capabilities
  • The ability to think quickly, logically, and analytically
  • An appetite for learning new
  • Project management
  • Team working skills.


Excellent written and verbal skills are also required in most areas supported by the ability to present thoughts clearly and convincingly.


Technology Skills


Information technology plays a key role in the management of the supply chain and is an equally important tool to those involved in transport management planning, as well as those in warehousing. All organisations now use some form of information technology to store data and information. Management information systems (MIS) are at the centre of everything we do, but you should not be put off if you are not ‘good with technology’. There are always people to guide you if you have limited experience with these kinds of things.


People Skills


There is a strong emphasis on the importance of customer care across the sector, and an ability to see the picture from both sides is a useful skill. Drivers and warehouse workers will also benefit from good interpersonal skills. Meeting and interacting with people multiple times a day is part of the job, especially during loading and unloading stops. Good communication skills are also paramount as you will need to ensure that those you deal with always understand what you mean and vice versa.


Experience Or No Experience?


The modern workplace can be a demanding environment that requires people to think on their feet to meet the daily challenges that come their way. People can get stuck in their ways and fall victim to their own experiences however, those who lack it may also face difficulties. So, which is the right choice? Simply put, there is no clear answer, as long as you can evidence that you perform in areas required for the job, then we believe that the logistics industry will be the perfect canvas for your skillset. To date, we’ve found that career backgrounds in the following areas create an ideal candidate for our industry:


Numeracy – with increasing sophistication, the need for numeracy becomes more essential and whilst not necessarily looking for a mathematics graduate, the ability to understand and analyse data, as well as manage your hours and invoices, is very important.


Problem-solving – the ability to analyse the hard facts, the hunches and hearsay, and arrive at a logical, workable conclusion (often to do with delivery routes)


Project management – such skills are of growing importance across both logistics and transport as people increasingly work in cross-functional teams


And for those aiming for the cab in particular, a valid HGV licence (as well as a real passion for the open road) will truly take you places, both literally and figuratively!


Sound like a tall order? Despite the rapid rate of change in logistics and transport, common sense and a positive attitude will take you a long way in what is a very rewarding and satisfying career. If you’re interested, we specialise in the recruitment of drivers into both temporary and permanent HGV and LGV roles. You can get in touch with our very friendly team by emailing


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Moving From Military To Logistics

Coming out of the military and transitioning into civilian life once more can be scary, and it can also be daunting to choose a career path that’s right for you after spending your working life up until now serving the country.

At Drivers Direct, we’re big on encouraging ex-military into the exciting and opportunistic world of logistics.

Managing Director Gethin Roberts comes from a background in the forces himself. Below, you can find out more about his journey* – and also how you can go from serving in the military, to working in logistics.

Transitioning From The Forces To Logistics

Gethin Roberts, Managing Director of Drivers Direct, joined the RAF at the age of 17 as a driver. He had no formal qualifications from school but found that the RAF gave him the opportunity to re-educate and take courses to develop professionally. At 18, Gethin passed his HGV3 test (now LGV class 2) and 2 years later, passed the HGV1 test (now LGV C+E).  As well as this, during his time in the military, Gethin became qualified in driving coaches, tankers, forklifts, cranes and specialist vehicles for airports, including tugs and air cargo vehicles.

There is a misconception that military life means doing everything differently to that which a civilian organisation would do, when actually there’s a wide range of roles carried out in the services with transferable skills when you return to civilian life. Those roles within the military do of course include logistics. It might well be the case that you already have experience in an industry, before returning to the working world to further develop it.

In fact, over 80% of people who leave the armed forces are employed in other roles around six months after leaving service. There are plenty of skills and qualities that a background in the military can result in.

Speaking of his time in the Armed Forces, Gethin said: “I served in the RAF for 12 years and left at the age of 30 at the rank of Corporal. I suppose looking back, it was quite a daunting concept, having joined the RAF straight from school – it was essentially all I was used to.”

In 2002, Drivers Direct was born after Gethin and 3 friends decided to set up a company specialising in driver recruitment. After 18 years, the company now turns over £26 million, employs 83 staff and has over 1500 drivers working each week.

How To Get A Job After Leaving The Military

The transition from being service personnel to working in a civilian role is one that can absolutely be achieved. There are so many opportunities in logistics, as well as other industries. If you’re hoping to transition from serving in the military, to working in logistics, It’s important that you…

  • Prepare well
  • Update your CV and professional information
  • Keep updated with relevant recruiters on social media (e.g. Twitter and LinkedIn)
  • Stay focused
  • Connect with relevant people who can help with recruitment
  • Take advantage of any initiatives available to you
  • Use your skills wisely
  • Look for positions you enjoy
  • Share your experiences and qualities

Where To Look For Logistics Jobs 

Drivers Direct is a logistics recruitment agency, pairing hard workers to our clients for all of their logistical needs. We employ for a wide range of roles, including…

  • LGV Drivers Class 1
  • LGV Drivers Class 2
  • 5 Tonne Drivers
  • 5 Tonne Drivers
  • Light Van Drivers
  • Minibus Drivers
  • Porters
  • Driver’s Mates
  • Forklift Truck Drivers
  • Warehouse Operatives
  • Transport Clarks
  • Shift Supervisors
  • Transport Managers

And many more.

Logistics has a skills gap, and we’re devoted to closing that. If you think you’d like to be a driver, and especially if you’re looking for a role after coming out of the military, why not contact our team and see what we can do?

You can also find us on social, we’re on Twitter and LinkedIn.

*You can find out more about Gethin’s journey in the July issue of Focus by the CILT.

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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.

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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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