Together we shall confront the storm
You have probably already have read it in the newspapers and trade publications: The world of transport and logistics is going through unprecedentedly difficult times. The International Road Transport Union (IRU) recently undertook a major worldwide study and predicts, “It is anticipated in 2021 that the shortage of truck drivers will increase by more than 25% in comparison with the level of 2020 in almost all the 23 countries that were studied.” Nieuwsblad Transport reports that a recent analysis by the British research organization Transport Intelligence shows that in Europe there is a shortage of 400,000 drivers. The organization added that ‘there appears to be no short-term solution for the problem.’
The BBC reports that mutinationals like Heineken and KFC are facing major delivery problems. We hear stories of a tenfold increase in the cost of shipping containers compared to 2020. We read about the impact of the new professional goods transport collective agreement, which will include an 8 percent increase in labour costs. And the Gobal Cold Chain News platform sums it up well on 24 August: “The logistics sector has been warning of an impending shortage of drivers for years, but a combination of Covid-19, Brexit and the long-standing structural problems that are restricting the supply of drivers, have brought us to a crisis point.”
Up to this point a summary of reports from the past few weeks. At Van Duuren we – unfortunately – fully recognize these cries for help from the industry. Indeed: we have been operating in the logistics world for almost 40 years, and we have literally never experienced a situation like this before. And now the problems are getting frighteningly close. In our own company, 11 trucks recently were at a standstill because there are no drivers available. We hear from the industry that fellow entrepreneurs often have even bigger problems. One colleague’s company even had 78 trucks at a standstill because he couldn’t find a driver anywhere.
For logistics professionals this situation is extremely annoying. At Van Duuren we feel very strongly about service. It’s not for nothing that ‘Delivering Your Promises’ is written on our trucks. And nothing is more frustrating than having to disappoint your customers, which is of course the last thing we want.
Specifically, we expect the following in the coming period: First of all, it may not be possible to accept shipments or to deliver them according to the regular driving times. In addition, we anticipate a sharp rise in prices throughout the logistics chain, including our own.
We will have to raise our rates substantially as of January 2022; this is not a choice, but a necessity. Our calculations are currently pointing to adjustments of up to 10 percent in general.
It goes without saying that we we will be working extra hard, both in good times and in bad, and – to put it bluntly – we will do our very best to continue to serve all our customers as well as possible. Because that is the basis of our family business: always going the extra mile where possible and always keeping the interests of our customers in mind.