Strong Local Support for National Lorry Week

    With an estimated shortage of around 5,000 drivers across Northern Ireland, it is not only the haulage industry here that has been severely impacted, but also the supply chain which is vital to the local economy.

    The issues have been highlighted during National Lorry Week when the industry has been promoting the work of the sector and the crucial role it plays to keep our supermarket and shop shelves well stocked.

    Northern Ireland is heavily dependent upon the transport sector as it’s the lifeblood of the economy with external sales of goods primarily transported by HGVs for NI companies estimated to be worth £15.9 billion with exports (sales outside the UK) estimated to be worth £11.7 billion in 2019.

    Minister for the Economy Gordon Lyons with the RHA’s John Martin at the launch of National Lorry Week.

    National Lorry Week is organised by the Road Haulage Association and has been strongly supported by many of our leading transport companies who were represented at its launch at Stormont attended by the Minister for the Economy Gordon Lyons and the RHA’s Policy Manager for Northern Ireland John Martin.

    Says John Martin: “Given that well over 90% of everything we use or consume reaches its destination on the back of a truck the country couldn’t function without trucks and drivers. The Coronavirus pandemic and the virtual shutdown of many sectors brought into focus the sometimes undervalued role the haulage sector plays in every ones lives.

    “More recently we have seen impact of the shortage of HGV drivers can have on fuel supplies in the south of England leading to panic buying which exacerbated the situation. We as a sector need to promote the role that we play in every ones lives and the Minister for the Economy can help promote this critical role both for the economy and all consumers.”

    Representatives from the various hauliers who attended the launch of National Lorry Week at Stormont recently.

    John adds: “This year we’re showcasing the huge variety of careers logistics has to offer and we’re encouraging young people and anyone who may be considering a new challenge to think about joining the next generation of drivers, office support staff, managers and technicians.

    “We’re also asking people to show their appreciation for the sector; after all, nearly everything we buy or use has been moved by a lorry.

    “National Lorry Week is the perfect time to champion logistics as an innovative, inclusive and sustainable industry full of amazing opportunities and we particularly welcome females who are vastly under represented within the sector.”

    More in the next print issue of Export & Freight.