Home movers face rising costs and increased risk of scams due to driver shortage Business News

People moving have been warned that they face higher costs and are at increased risk of being scammed by unscrupulous moving companies due to a shortage of skilled truck drivers.

Moving companies say they’re struggling to keep drivers, as big chains, including Waitrose and Tesco, are offering big pay rises and signing bonuses in a bid to lure drivers into the midst of ‘a shortage that has been exacerbated by Covid and Brexit. Some companies report that they have already raised the prices for moves by 25 percent.

With gaps appearing on supermarket shelves and a shortage of tens of thousands of drivers, wages are expected to rise further, exacerbating problems for the moving industry, which typically operates on low margins and lacks the deep pockets of large retailers.

Consumers are advised to plan well in advance of their move date to ensure they find a reputable company to transport their belongings and avoid getting ripped off.

Recruiting and retaining drivers has become “extremely difficult” at a time when demand has increased in part thanks to the stamp duty break, said Ian Studd, managing director of the British Association of Removers (BAR).

“We’ve had a huge spike in activity, but a lot of movers are operating below capacity, not because they don’t have the trucks, but because they don’t have the drivers. “

While the number of people relocating has declined in recent weeks, many companies are still struggling to recruit staff.

“Inevitably, the costs go up. Margins in the moving industry have traditionally been quite low and when these big distribution companies come in waving their checkbooks, it’s a big challenge for us.

“We have to recognize that if we want to keep people, we have to pay the same wages. It’s that simple. Inevitably, this is reflected in the cost to people of moving. “

The warning came as leaders in the retail and transportation industry stepped up pressure on the government to alleviate staff shortages by relaxing immigration rules.

The Road Haulage Association has pleaded with the government to put truck driving on the shortage occupation list so that foreign drivers can apply for visas. Logistics UK and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have also called on ministers to offer temporary visas to EU drivers.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told industry leaders last week that they should focus on “using the strength of our national workforce.”

Next CEO and Conservative peer Lord Wolfson attacked the government’s immigration policy on Tuesday.

“It seems crazy to me that despite everyone knowing that we are in desperate need of drivers, the Home Office is still preventing people from coming to this country to work as drivers,” he told LBC.

Lord Wolfson, a prominent Brexit supporter, added: ‘Personally I don’t think that’s the problem with Brexit, I think it’s the problem with the way our immigration system is run.

He added: “I think there is a huge difference between having control of your immigration system, which I think we should have, and managing that system well, which I’m not sure we are. let’s be. “

For moving companies, recruiting problems are compounded by real estate agents often failing to hand over property keys until 4 or 5 a.m. on moving day, which means moving companies have to work late at night, according to the BAR.

“It has a huge negative impact on staff retention. Movers, like everyone else, also have family and social life, ”said Ian Studd of BAR.

“On a Friday, the busiest day of the week, you’ll see fleets of moving vehicles across the country waiting for the keys to be handed over. Our staff are just fed up, and you can’t blame them.

BAR advises anyone wishing to relocate to seek out a moving company well in advance of the completion date and not to view it as an afterthought.

Mr Studd warned that an abundance of “man and van” operators are unregulated and consumers often have little protection if something goes wrong.

Because the movers struggled with the volume of work, consumers had to consider these other alternatives.

“There are some good little operators out there, but some of these guys just take the money and run away. We have had some pretty horrific examples of consumers being royally scammed.

“Hire a professional moving company. You will have a contract for the transaction with all the necessary consumer protections.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-08-31 19:03:12

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *