Demand for heavy truck drivers “will increase over the next four years amid the boom in online retail.”
The demand for heavy truck drivers is expected to increase dramatically over the next four years due to the growth of online retailing and putting pressure on companies’ attempts to achieve zero net admissions, research shows.
Experts at real estate advisor Colliers said the continued increase in e-commerce would create an additional 38,885 heavy truck round trips per day by 2025.
This comes amid a current shortage of around 85,000 heavy truck drivers in the UK and heightened investor expectations for companies to cut emissions.
Walter Boettcher, the company’s head of research and economics in the UK, said the increased shift to online sales – which has been accelerated by the pandemic – could have an environmental impact.
âThe distribution model in place for the growing volume of e-commerce is not without its challenges,â he said.
âOne of them is that it has a substantial environmental footprint that can match or even exceed that of traditional brick and mortar retail.
“Additionally, the planned large-scale reallocation of brick-and-mortar retail assets to other uses could unintentionally exacerbate the problem and undermine the path to net zero.”
The report also highlights a substantial need for more warehouse and logistics space to meet this demand.
An additional 54.5 million square feet of industrial logistics space, including warehouses, would be needed by 2025 to fill an existing capacity gap and meet growth expectations.
The forecast is based on an expected growth in consumerism, with retail spending increasing rapidly in recent years.
In 2010, UK retail sales amounted to Â£ 325bn, rising to Â£ 438bn in 2020, and are expected to reach Â£ 651bn by 2030, according to Oxford forecasts Economics.
David Fox, co-director of Colliers’ retail agency, said: âAre we stopping consumerism for the greater good of the environment? Well, we can’t stop the customer from gravitating towards a seamless shopping experience, be it online, omnichannel, or physical.
âE-commerce is here to stay, but retailers must adapt by delivering the best experience to society’s expectations while guiding customers to a sustainable bottom line.
âWe need to better communicate the impact of people’s consumption choices on our carbon footprint so that we can all make more informed decisions that go beyond the most practical or the most profitable. “