Export & Freight Jan-Feb 2018

Welcome to a New Year, a year, one suspects, that will throw up more than a few surprises and shocks as uncertainties over Brexit and falling consumer and business confidence cast long shadows on the immediate future.

Indeed, official figures released recently show the number
of freight firms filing for insolvency between April and June 2017 was almost double the same period the previoust year and has reached its highest level in five years. Some of the blame is being put on the price of diesel which accounts for almost a third of operating costs for an average 44 tonne truck. The rate of duty on fuel was frozen in the last Budget, but obviously a cut would have made all the difference.

That said, our industry is a resilient one and there are a lot of positives. As someone once declared, ‘A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the
opportunity in every difficulty.’ Yes, 2018 will present difficulties, but opportunties too.

This month we have been getting up close and personal with the new Iveco Stralis NP and X-Way as well as taking a look at Volvo’s new ground-breaking Euro-6 compliant long-haul truck powered by a 13-litre engine that uses liquid natural gas or biogas.

As you’ll also read in this issue, Scania tell us they’ve had a very good 2017 in the UK and are gearing up for the New Year by introducing a series of changes and upgrades to its product portfolio, including the launch of its L-series.

On the van front, we report on Ford’s new Transit Connect and Transit Courier featuring advanced new driver assistance technologies; both models will be available to order this coming Spring, and we have been test driving Mercedes-Benz new X-Class pick-up in snowy North Wales.

We also turn the spotlight on tyres in this issue. As we all know incorrect tyre pressure costs fleets money – and there are serious safety implications, too, so we put a special focus on the importance of Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems

 

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