The government has announced plans to allow transport drivers from other countries to make deliveries in the UK before returning home, easing supply chain pressure.
The Transport Department will make temporary changes to rules on cabotage – the transport of goods between two places in the UK by a driver from another country – to enable thousands more HGV deliveries.
The measure is subject to a one-week consultation and will then last up to six months.
The change is expected to come into force “towards the end of this year.”
At present, EU hauliers can only make a maximum of two cabotage trips within seven days before returning home. Now, overseas operators will be able to make an unlimited number of deliveries in a two week period.
Industries have struggled with inconsistent and cancelled deliveries because of a shortage of some 100,000 HGV drivers.
Although the government announced plans for 5,000 temporary visas for drivers, bosses said this would not come close to the levels needed.
Ministers said food supply chains and good arriving via ports would be the most advantaged by the changes.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “The long-term answer to the supply chain issues we’re currently experiencing must be developing a high-skill, high-wage economy here in the UK.
“Alongside a raft of other measures to help the road haulage industry, we’ve streamlined the testing process and announced thousands of skills bootcamps to train new drivers. These measures are working – we’ve been seeing up to three times more applications for HGV driving licences than normal as well as a deserved rise in salaries.”