HGV driver shortage tops hauliers' list of concerns for year ahead, new research reveals

Difficulty sourcing trained HGV drivers is top of the list when it comes to the challenges facing hauliers in the next 12 months, according to brand-new industry research published today.

In the latest edition of the 'Asset Alliance Group Industry Monitor', produced in partnership with Commercial Motor and Motor Transport, 29% of respondents revealed the national driver shortage was the most troubling concern for their business.

Next in line was the fear of a poor economic outlook for the UK with 17% of the vote, while legislation featured in third and fourth place: 16% were concerned about the effect of localised urban regulations, such as clean air zones, while a further 11% feared the uncertain legislative environment outside of the EU.

And like the general voting public, when it came to Brexit, there was an even spread of responses as to how it will affect the prospects of the UK’s road transport sector going forward: 37% of respondents thought prospects would be slightly or significantly better now the UK is flying solo, while 38% thought the opposite. The rest sat firmly on the fence.

Despite the challenges ahead, operators demonstrated a robust optimism when it came to business confidence for the year ahead.

Nearly half of all respondents were expecting their trading performance to be better during 2021 than 2020, as the UK aims to bounce back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 'Asset Alliance Group Industry Monitor 2021' is based on a robust 625-strong sample from the readership of Motor Transport and Commercial Motor.

It provides analysis of key challenges – such as urban regulations, a national driver shortage and truck crime – and gauges the impact this is having on operators, both large and small.

There is also an in-depth look into expected buying patterns for the year ahead, from the numbers of new trucks anticipated to be bought to choosing the latest alternatively-fuelled models.

It is free of charge to download and a must-read report for those working in the road transport sector.

MAN truck sales director to retire after 33 years

David Cussans, UK truck sales director at MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd, is to retire at the end of the summer after 33 years with the company.

Cussans joined MAN in 1988 as a national fleet sales manager but between 2010 and 2017 worked for sister brand Scania, as regional executive director before returning to MAN as UK truck sales director in 2017.

Thomas Hemmerich, MAN Truck & Bus UK MD, said: “David has had a long and extremely successful career in our industry, and his input to the success of this company has been invaluable. However, after decades of working in the business, David has now decided to take a well-earned break and we all wish him all the very best and thank him for his remarkable contribution.”

Speaking about his departure, Cussans said: “I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked in such a dynamic and colourful industry, and to have met and worked with so many great people. I have always loved the MAN business and product range and I am proud to have played a part in the development of the UK company. Thanks to the focus, commitment and engagement of the whole team and the entire dealer network, we have made huge progress in all areas of our business, and I am sure that the solid foundations will continue to be built upon and lead to further success”

MAN has yet to name a successor to Cussans, but said an announcement will be made shortly.