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Supply chain crisis: Ministers plan to increase frequency with which foreign truck drivers can deliver to UK |  UK News

The government wants to change how often foreign heavy truck operators can deliver to the UK to help tackle current supply chain issues.

A consultation on the extension of “cabotage” rights will be launched on Friday in an attempt to consolidate supply chains and prevent stores from running out of merchandise or raising prices due to a Heavy truck driver shortage.

Cabotage are the rules concerning the transport of goods or passengers in one country by a transport operator from a different country.

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Currently, the rules mean that EU heavy truck drivers can only make two trips between two places in the UK in a week.

But the new plan would allow foreign operators to collect and deliver goods an unlimited number of times over a fortnight before they return to their home country.

If the proposal is approved after a week’s consultation, the change would go into effect before the end of the year and last for six months.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The long term answer to the supply chain problems we face today must be to develop a highly skilled and well paid economy here in the UK.

“Along with a series of other measures to help the trucking industry, we have streamlined the testing process and announced thousands of skills training camps to train new drivers.

“These new measures are working – we have seen up to three times more applications for HGV driving licenses than normal and a deserved increase in wages.

“The temporary changes we are consulting on cabotage rules will also ensure that overseas carriers in the UK can use their time efficiently and move more goods through the supply chain at a time of high demand.”

Supply chain crisis: Ministers plan to increase frequency with which foreign truck drivers can deliver to UK |  UK News
Shipping giant Maersk said it was hijacking ships from Felixstowe due to the build-up of cargo

The government said the changes would apply to all types of goods but would be “particularly beneficial” for food supply chains and imports from ports.

Retailers have warned that persistent supply chain problems will lead to higher prices and empty shelves for Christmas.

The Maersk shipping company has hijacked ships from Felixstowe due to a build-up of cargo, and similar blockages have been seen around the world, including the United States.