Supply chains could be "seriously disrupted" by lorry driver shortage similar to UK
“I would say we need 3,000 drivers between now and Christmas for sure."
Supply chains in Ireland could be "seriously disrupted" by similar lorry driver shortages to the United Kingdom, the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has warned.
Due to a shortage of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) drivers, the President of IRHA, Eugene Drennan, has said the shortage of drivers has already had an impact on the distribution of goods across the country.
“Unless we see some urgent action now, there is a real prospect that the supply chains which keep our daily lives functioning will start to be seriously disrupted," he told Newstalk on Thursday.
“There is definitely a shortage of drivers,” he added.
“I would say we need 3,000 drivers between now and Christmas for sure. We’ll need maybe 5,000 to 7,000 by next year.
“There is a possibility - not that it will or it might but there is a possibility - that something might happen and we may not have quite as good a service as we have had heretofore.”
Drennan added that the shortage had "been flagged for a number of years in different reports" and the group had "been indicating it to Government departments and to the Minister of Transport since last year".
He said that the shortage was in part due to the growing age of HGV drivers across Ireland and "over-regulation" in the industry.
“The dynamic of the age group of our existing drivers have gotten older and more drivers have got out because of a lot of regulation, over-regulation really," he said.
"Some of them could be coaxed back into the business perhaps if that was refined a little bit.”
It comes as the UK has seen major disruption to supply chains recently due to Brexit and a long-term shortage of lorry drivers.
European lorry drivers have said they will not help the country get "out of the s*** they created themselves" amid massive shortages in the country due to Brexit.
A spokesman for the Dutch FNV union, which represents drivers across Europe, said on Monday that the UK's proposed offer of temporary visas would not be enough to attract drivers back to Britain.