At the UK’S premier road transport conference today there were two very interesting presentations outlining the developments in the Internet of things and information technology being deployed by two of the UK’S best known fleet operators Eddie Stobart and Bibby Distribution. Figures of a reduction in fuel consumption, vehicle downtime and a reduction in accidents were delivered by presenters and insights into the benefits of information systems focused on driver behaviour and meeting KPI’s. The driver shortage was addressed by saying that todays technological advancements in equipment and systems will help make the transport operation more efficient.

A question from the floor delivered through a very slick IT system asked if the savings that were made in a reduction in fuel consumption and the very significant reduction in accidents would see Drivers get a pay rise?…..there was a moment of silence, like when your computer freezes or your WiFi stops…..”ah ….ah…information technology is the way forward” came the reply and on went the slick presentation.

So you can take it that the industry is in total denial about driver pay and conditions and the lack of interest in young people entering the Industry. 

There is a lot of talk about the importance of the Driver and the need to find the estimated 35,000 drivers required to meet the needs of the road transport sector in the UK. Coupled with the  uncertainty of Brexit, the industry fears that the estimated 30,000 plus non British national drivers may feel that their status in the UK will change, forcing some to move out of the UK which will further increase the demand for drivers.