RHA chief executive Richard Burnett makes the point that the logistics and freight sector is heavily reliant on foreign workers, with at least 60,000 lorry drivers from Eastern Europe.
However, foreign drivers are starting to shun the UK, as a result of the decreasing value of sterling-based wages when converted back into their currency.
As a result, the pound’s fall in value since the Brexit vote is now hitting all three of the haulage industry’s key cost areas: fuel, trucks and wages.
“Sterling’s fall in value [against] the dollar has driven up diesel prices and meant that the UK has failed to [take] advantage in the sharp fall in the dollar price of oil,” comments Burnett.
Truck transaction prices have already started to harden and prices next year are expected to harden significantly as a result of the currency change, he adds.
Meanwhile, Burnett explains that wage increases are also resulting from inflationary pressures due to the shortage of licensed and qualified lorry drivers.
“The industry overall is reasonably buoyant at the current time, with strong volumes reported by many members, but cost pressures are growing for operators,” concludes Burnett.