By all accounts, it is not getting any easier in the transport and logistics sectors with many challenges remaining in the year ahead.
Among those challenges is balancing the books in the face of continued high fuel costs. As the Road Haulage Association points out, hauliers have borne the brunt of huge increases for the second year in a row. The cost of fuel, vehicles, and labour have skyrocketed well above inflation, in part due to the impact of the war in Ukraine. The RHA’s annual Haulage Cost Movement report shows that the cost of operating a 44 tonne lorry has increased by 19%.
Another challenge is the rising incidents of crime targeting drivers and their cargos. A report from the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service says gangs of organised crime groups are robbing trucks and costing the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds. Much of this crime happens at independent road parking, typically on the side of a lay-by or industrial estate. However such crimes also take place within recognised lorry parking facilities where operators are charged for the use of the facilities. Efforts to tackle those gangs are being stepped up.
All of that said there is much progress being made in many areas and there are opportunities to be explored in an industry that is both adaptable and resilient. That resilience has been well illustrated by many manufacturers including DAF Trucks who set new records in the past year, with a market share of 17.3% in the European heavy truck market and a total production of 68,000 units – one of the many positive stories you will read in this issue of the magazine.
On another note, we congratulate founder and former Managing Director of Oliver Transport Services Willie Oliver on his being awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to education, business and charities in County Londonderry.
And we welcome a new regular contributor to Export & Freight, Caroline Hobson who recently took up the post of Head of the Transport Regulation Unit. Caroline has 20 years’ experience of working within the Public Sector mainly in the areas of Audit and Policy and Legislation, experience that has equipped her with skills and experience to provide an invaluable contribution to the industry; you can read her first column in this issue of the magazine.
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