Transport drivers in very short supply with ex farmgate milk collections suffering.

Posted on: 02/09/21

The UK dairy industry, like all other businesses, is facing a serious shortage of vehicle drivers mainly due to fact that during the Covid lockdown, no new drivers came into the system due to no tests, plus the Brexit effect which has cut the supply of mainland Eastern European drivers.  The Covid and Brexit effect is estimated to have clocked up 100,000 missing lorry drivers with 30,000 HGV class 1 drivers lost due to the fact the examiners were all on furlough.


Last week one milk tanker driver who reported in sick resulted in three farms in the Bridgenorth area for the past 7 days having no regular milk collection with no replacement tanker driver available.  It is understood a third-party processor stepped in to avoid any further on farm dumping of milk.


Spot milk transport is the biggest challenge to spot milk trades and all the signs point to the fact there is no light at the end of the tunnel with, dare we say, Xmas rapidly approaching.


Culina transport, who now own the mighty Eddie Stobart’s transport business, with 4,500 trucks and 17,500 employees have dozens of trucks with no drivers parked up indefinitely, particularly on the non-food side like the Biomass and Forestry side. 

It’s an issue which is testing all dairy processors irrespective of size of operation particularly those who export but that’s not their only challenge.  More on that in the next issue.