Export & Freight Sept-Oct 2016

As summer (what summer?) stumbles into autumn, the transport industry continues to face challenges on quite a few fronts; on others, it is experiencing some remarkable successes. It’s always been that way, though, and somehow it all turns out well in the end. Or will it? Today we are living in uncertain times.

The migrant crisis at Calais slipped from the headlines for a while, but it’s back, and even uglier still, with the situation having escalated to unprecedented levels of violence and intimidation to the point, says the RHA, where the safety of UK-bound drivers and the UK economy is at grave risk. Surely something has to be done and soon!

Brexit, of course, remains very much in the headlines, with the long term implications still unfolding. We have been hearing from Fred Osborn, National Chairman of the British International Freight Association, and Chris Southworth, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce UK, to find out more. Their take on it makes for vital reading.

As the Freight Transport Association says, one of the biggest issues for operators in Northern Ireland is the border and how any enforcement will be carried out.  The other big issue for vehicle operators, importers and exporters in Northern Ireland revolves around what will happen to the UK’s custom tariffs and trade procedures for the new trade deals, including the one with the EU Single Market. Make sure you read Seamus Leheny’s column in this issue.

Another concern that hasn’t gone away is that of driver and logistics skills shortages. Funding is being made available in England to bring more apprentices into the industry, but not Northern Ireland or Scotland, so we have to ask why?  Again, Martin Reid’s regular column makes interesting reading.

Changing gear, our test drivers have been busy in recent weeks and we have reports from behind the wheels of the new Iveco Stralis, the Volvo FH, the DAF XF and LDV’s V80 van. We also have a preview of what to expect at the forthcoming IAA show in Germany – and the latest from the world of shipping

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