Most of us, I am sure, will have been glad to see the back of 2021; it has been a rollercoaster ride for many, so let’s hope that this New Year will bring some more positive news. That said, all the old familiar issues remain: driver shortages, the continuing fallout from Brexit and, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic.
A recent report published by NI Chamber and Invest NI found that since the end of the transition period, 84% of businesses in Northern Ireland are dealing with increased costs, with 89% reporting increases in the time it takes to transport goods to or from overseas. Nine in ten of the region’s exporting firms have experienced supply chain issues including rising shipping costs, delivery delays and problems with product availability.
Yes, our industry has been battered on so many fronts over the past 12 months and what has become the new norm has resulted in companies trying to come up with more imaginative and inventive ways to successfully do business, while keeping staff and employees safe and protected.
There has been one promising development in recent weeks, though, on the shortage of HVG drivers. The Logistics UK Skills Report 2021shows there is cause for cautious optimism that the situation will improve. The report reveals that ‘significant steps’ have been taken to help address the recruitment issues which have plagued the sector for years, with government and industry working together to increase capacity to test new drivers, provide new training schemes, and commit to improving facilities available to those working across the roads network, so let’s see how that pans out over the course of 2022.
So, what have we got in this issue? We report on DAF’s new generation ‘Truck of the Year’ award, look at Scania’s new powertrains, and find out more about Schmitz Cargobull new semi-trailer. We also focus in on the forklift truck market, and discover the latest developments by our leading tyre manufacturers and suppliers.
As we usher in 2022, remember, you can keep up to date with all the industry news 24/7 by logging on to our website at www.exportandfreight.com. You should also be receiving our FREE weekly newsletter, sent to your inbox every Wednesday; if not, let us know and we will make sure you do. In the meantime, Stay Well, Stay Safe.
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for the Jan-Feb 2022 issue of Export and Freight Magazine.