Driver discussing paperwork at the side of the vehicle

It’s Time for Equal Pay for Temporary Drivers & Warehouse Staff

Blue Arrow’s latest sector trend report on ‘Transport and Logistics’ has revealed that whilst the transport industry continues to see staff shortages constrain its growth potential, pay for temporary drivers is not comparable to permanent drivers, consistently throughout the UK.

While there seems to be no single cause for the driver shortage which arises from a combination of factors including: an aging population, lack of investment in training, poor terms and working conditions and the cost of licence acquisition; inequality of pay for professional qualified drivers who work on temporary contracts is not helping retain the talent that is available.

According to the report:

• The lack of diversity in the road haulage sector is very pronounced with figures showing that only 2% of drivers are female1

• Drivers are predominantly over 50 and British1

• 17,000 new truck-drivers’ licences are currently issued each year – only half of what is required2

Twelve locations around the UK have been researched for their salary rates and vacancy advertising activity. The analysis highlights the differences between the average temporary and permanent rates of pay around the country. The UK average salary for temporary staff is consistently lower than permanent pay across the board, with the biggest difference of 8% for LGV C Drivers, LGV C1 Drivers and Warehouse Workers. The smallest gap between the two UK average rates of pay is for Fork Lift Truck Drivers with an overall difference of 35 pence per hour.

The FTA (Freight Transport Association), as part of its 2018 Logistics Industry Survey asked its members about the measures they were taking to address and improve recruitment and retention of new staff. According to Commercial Fleet, the demand for Haulage Drivers has increased by 7.5%3 and within the past 10 years, there has been a 12.5% reduction in the number of haulage drivers3. This identified the most popular measures of redress were funded driver training programmes and apprenticeships for younger people.4

The report also presents one solution to ease the current issue by suggesting companies offer training opportunities to the warehousing community who face the most immediate threat of displacement through automation. With 80% of jobs in transportation, warehousing and logistics susceptible to automation5 and Warehouse Workers already used to long hours and shift patterns alongside temporary working assignments, professional driving offers a viable alternative career with greater earning potential and stability of employment.

Toni Richards, Marketing Director at Blue Arrow, commented:

“This report highlights what the industry already knows to be its biggest staffing issues, in its brevity it does provide a stark list of what requires immediate action. While Brexit offers uncertainty, waiting with bated breath to tackle inequality of pay between temporary and permanent staff or investing in partially/fully funded training programmes, is not an option, whatever the future political climate throws up. Being a freelancer or contractor in most other occupations commands a higher rate of pay, reflecting the higher risk of less stable working hours and short-term contracts. It makes no sense why fully-qualified, professional drivers are paid less than their permanently employed counterparts.”

To view more insights, rates of pay and advertising activity for all UK regions, across a number of Transport, Logistics and Warehouse job types, download the Transport and Logistics Labour Market Report.



1 Blue Arrow’s own driver workforce demographics as of March 2018

2 Data from The Economist (2016) Keep off Truckin’ Report

3 Commercial Fleet (2015) How do you solve the truck driver shortage?

4 FTA Logistics Report 2018, FTA Logistics Industry Survey 2017/18,

5 TECHNOLOGY AT WORK v3.0 Automating e-Commerce from Click to Pick to Door, Citi GPS: Global Perspectives & Solutions August 2017,


About Blue Arrow

Founded in 1959, Blue Arrow is one of the UK's oldest specialist staffing companies. With over 600 recruitment professionals across more than 70 locations throughout the UK, including 53 high-street branches; Blue Arrow places 60,000 people in work, each year.

Blue Arrow specialises in temporary and permanent staffing for Transport & Logistics, Admin & Secretarial including Call Centre, Hospitality & Catering, Manufacturing & Production and Public Sector. Speak to a member of Blue Arrow’s dedicated Recruitment team in your local area.

Its Enhancing People's Lives mission unites staff under a profound appreciation for their part in helping people find fulfilling work and recognise their full potential whilst earn a living wage.

Proudly placed 32nd among The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Best Companies to Work For and accredited Platinum status by Investors in People, Blue Arrow knows that people make the difference in any great business.

Blue Arrow is proud to be part of the Impellam Group. Impellam is an international people business specialising in workforce solutions and total talent management. Currently supporting more than 5,000 customers worldwide, Impellam’s 17 brands are each specialists in their own markets, dedicated to helping people into meaningful work and supporting customers’ businesses through managed services and specialist staffing solutions.

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