Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Hauliers' profits up – but warnings of driver shortages

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Logistics firm Wincanton has confirmed its first quarter profits were 'up significantly' year-on-year, but it has warned of a shortage of HGV drivers in the industry.

Last month, trade association Logistics UK said 100,000 drivers – many from Eastern Europe – had been lost to the industry because of Brexit and Covid.

Wincanton has said it is having to work harder to recruit and retain drivers.

The announcement was made at its AGM this morning (July 7). Chairman Martin Read told shareholders: "The Board confirms that the strong revenue performance recorded in the second half of the prior year has continued into the first quarter of this financial year, with sustained growth and an attractive pipeline of opportunities in each of the Group’s four sectors.

"Wincanton continues to make operational and strategic progress and it is trading in line with expectations. Profits are up significantly on the same period last year.

"The award of two contract extensions by Ikea to operate its customer distribution centres in Kent and Essex underlines the sustained progress in the development of Wincanton’s Digital and eFulfilment offer.

"While the Group has maintained its positive momentum in the early part of the financial year, it is mindful of the sector-wide pressures related to the availability of drivers.

"Wincanton is taking steps to address this, including increased recruitment of permanent colleagues and the acceleration of training programmes."

Wincanton's 19,600-strong team operates from more than 200 sites across the country, utilising 3,500 vehicles. It is headquartered in Chippenham.