https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/lorry-driver-shortage-an-imminent-national-emergency-in-ireland-1.4686883eastern European drivers have not returned from extended summer holidays, having found alternative work in Poland’s soaring economy.
“It is very bad at the moment,” says Kay’s father, Michael. “We would normally have drivers on file that would be looking for a job but we haven’t had that for the last 12 months.”
“Before you were always worried about whether you had enough work. Now you are worried about whether you have enough drivers to take on the work,” he says.
Lorry driving has become an unattractive job for a variety of reasons: poor pay and career prospects, long hours on the road, unfavourable conditions, tight and stressful delivery windows, and high insurance premiums for young drivers, who see better work options elsewhere.
John Nolan of Nolan Transport, one of the largest haulage companies in the country, and secretary of the IRHA.
Nolan says at one stage the company was “down 100 drivers” out of a full complement of 450. He sees the shortages continuing for the next two to three years and costs in his business rising as a result. Nolan is having to hike pay by 20 per cent to retain his drivers.
“If I don’t do that with my drivers, a rival is going to poach them,” he says.