Ocado faces £5m cost rise due to labour shortages

Hatfield, UK: Ocado faces a bill of up to £5m this year because of the rising labour cost of lorry and van drivers as well as warehouse staff.

A jump in online shopping during the pandemic, coupled with a national driver shortage caused by Brexit and the Covid crisis, has forced Ocado to raise hourly rates and offer signing-on bonuses.

Tim Steiner, the chair, said the company was not just concerned about driver shortages. “It’s the broader labour shortages in the whole country that we are working to mitigate the impact of,” he added. He said that Ocado had seen “small interruptions” when it came to food availability but “nothing substantial”.

Last week the Food and Drink Federation’s chief executive Ian Wright warned that food shortages could become permanent in Britain as the just-in-time delivery system was no longer working, although stressed that the country would not run out of food.

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In the August issue of Cold Chain News, out now, Gist reveals that it is offering incentives of up to £5,000 for HGV drivers to join its business from August in order to boost capability and resources to deliver chilled foods and fresh produce. bit.ly/3z6j8Si #coldchain

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