Welcome to Autumn! The seasons may be changing, but the challenges facing the transport industry, locally and nationally, remain the same.
Attracting young people into the sector continues to be a
major area of concern. Union leaders have now joined the
debate, saying a failure to recruit young drivers, together with a combination of health problems and an aging workforce, is creating a crisis. And they’ve back up that claim with some disturbing figures.
According to Unite, the UK’s largest union, the average age of LGV drivers has increased to 48, with 13 per cent of drivers aged over 60 and just one per cent aged under 25. Couple that with the fact that many UK firms rely on foreign nationals, the crisis can only deepen on the other side of Brexit unless some radical action is taken.
Locally, efforts are being made to address the situation, a case in point being the launch of a new HGV Apprenticeship programme – a first of its kind in Northern Ireland – by AGRO Merchants Group who are offering individuals the opportunity to make driving a rewarding career. You can read all about that in this issue.
Meanwhile, to keep up to date with all the latest issues affecting the industry, why not pop along to the forthcoming Road Haulage Association’s annual Northern Ireland Conference on October 18th at the Ross Park Hotel in Ballymena, County Antrim.
So, what else have we got in this edition? A first glimpse at the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, is all! We have a report on the brand’s new flagship which has just been introduced to the world’s press. As you will read, the most important and most spectacular innovation of the new Actros is Active Drive Assist, with which Mercedes-Benz Trucks puts partially automated driving into series production; it can brake, accelerate and steer independently.
On the test drive front, we have been putting Renault’s new Range T High through its paces and getting up close and personal with Scania’s new S650; in vans, we take to the road in an LDV80, Vauxhall reveals its all-new Combo Van and we hear of a great future for Renault’s all-electric Kangoo.
Meanwhile, our annual Transport & Logistics Awards is already upon us and in the next issue we will have a comprehensive report on who won what and why, so don’t miss it!
Please click the link below to
download the Sept-Oct 2018 issue of Export and Freight Magazine.