Ro-Ro specialists respond to UK driver shortage

Roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) specialists Continental Cargo Carriers (CCC) has launched an internal driver academy scheme in response to the critical shortage of drivers in the UK driver market.

Industry body, the Road Haulage Association, estimates that there is a shortfall of 100,000 HGV drivers now, against its pre-Covid estimate of 60,000. The pandemic is said to have played a large role in the shortage, delaying 30,000 tests for new drivers. Alongside Brexit, with around 15,000 European truck drivers leaving the UK in the last year.

CCC’s internal driver academy will operate close to its industry leading 1Hub facility in Dartford, Kent and is designed to help warehouse operatives become skilled drivers, in the hope that it will help combat the urgent need for drivers.

Established in 1973, CCC is one of the biggest players on the roll-on roll-off market between Europe and the UK, delivering full and part-load consignments daily. It operates a fleet of 270 trailers, with a 4000 m2 warehouse and employs a team in Belgium and the UK. CCC was acquired by Europa Worldwide Group in 2018 but is a wholly separate division.

Carlo Turner, General Manager at Continental Cargo Carriers commented: “The shortage of drivers is something that is certainly being felt across the country. With the pandemic, Brexit and the introduction of the IR35 tax legislation forcing an increase in cost, there are various factors that have played a part.

“At CCC we wanted to do something to help rectify this imbalance and bring more drivers into the market. Our new initiative offers the opportunity for those currently in the warehouse industry to obtain the relevant skills and qualifications to become a driver if they wish to do so. We are also lobbying our local MP to add drivers to the UK Shortage Occupation List.”

CCC has also joined forces with Europa Worldwide Group to launch a scheme to help both those already within the company and externally receive the required training to be Class 1 or 2 drivers. The training academy will be based close to its industry leading 1Hub facility in Dartford.

Carlo said: “We are thrilled to be able to support Europa in its new training initiative which will train and create additional HGV Class 2 drivers from scratch, on a nine-month programme. This is a wonderful opportunity for those looking to kick-start a long-term career as a driver and we look forward to watching the success of the candidates as they become an integral part of the business.”

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