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Supply Chain

British Visas Won't Draw Truckers, German Freight Industry Says

A plan by the British government to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers in the run-up to Christmas will not attract back drivers who left after Brexit, the German freight industry has said.

"The labour market on the European continent has gratefully accepted these workers - they are now lost to re-employment in the United Kingdom," Frank Huster, chief executive of the German Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association, told Reuters.

A post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers, exacerbated by a halt to truck-driving-licence testing during COVID lockdowns and people leaving the haulage industry, has sown chaos through supply chains.

Last week, Britain's retail industry warned the government that unless it moves to alleviate the acute shortage of truckers in the next 10 days then significant disruption was inevitable in the run-up to Christmas.

Price Rises Are Looming

Many petrol stations have run dry in Britain over the past few days amid panic-buying of fuel and suppliers have warned that other shortages and price rises are looming in the run up to Christmas.

The government announced a plan on Sunday to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers, but Huster said that would not help.

"The new UK visa regulations - especially the temporary ones - will not change this," Huster said.

Warehouses in Britain are having to pay up to 30% more to recruit staff after a chronic shortage of workers exacerbated pressure on already buckling supply chains and threatened to derail the run up to Black Friday and Christmas.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Supply Chain news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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