The Road Haulage Association is delighted that Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Andy McDonald MP visited PD Ports’ Portcentric Logistics Director and former RHA National Chairman, Jim French MBE.

Commenting, Jim French said: “This was a great opportunity to raise serious concerns about the future of the logistics industry; in particular the chronic shortage of HGV drivers.”

Mr McDonald’s visit resulted from a meeting with RHA chief executive Richard Burnett.

Commenting he said: “This is a perfect example of one of our members actively lobbying their MP. It’s the best way of making our collective voice louder and our lobbying even stronger. Only by seeing and understanding what the industry is up against can they get a real grasp of the challenges that affect us and help address them. This visit is the perfect example of the Association working together with its members to bring about change”

Mr French, who recently received at MBE for his services to young people in the transport industry, stressed that with an average driver age of 53 years old and an existing driver shortage that stands at 45,000 more needs to be done to focus on the future and safeguard the UK’s ability to remain competitive in this vital industry.

“Road haulage accounts for 98% of UK freight distribution and the industry as a whole contributes around £121BN to the economy and provides 2.5 million jobs. Despite this, there is still a distinct lack of visibility both within government and the public as to the vital role we play in moving UK trade.”

In conclusion, Andy McDonald MP said: “I’ve been hearing about initiatives including the logistics academy and it’s abundantly clear that the industry and PD Ports, in particular, are really focused on the deficits in bringing people into the industry and making careers in logistics a realistic offer for people.”