Lincolnshire’s Logistics Industry: A Bright, Green Future?

Lincolnshire’s Logistics Industry: A Bright, Green Future?

At Coversure Grantham we’ve been providing competitive, high-quality truck, courier, and commercial vehicle insurance since 2000. As such we’ve a keen interest in the logistics and delivery sectors and over the past couple of years we’ve paid close attention to how the industry is going green.

With the UK Government setting targets for all new vans and HGVs to be zero-emission by 2030 and 2040 respectively, and with increasing numbers of consumers looking for more sustainable deliveries there are lots of reasons for Lincolnshire’s many logistics businesses to go green. In this latest blog from Coversure Grantham – the home of great value, high-quality insurance – we’ll take a look at how Lincolnshire’s logistics sector can rise to the challenge and realise the benefits of going green.

Transport is the largest contributor to UK greenhouse gas emissions, at 27% in 2019. While the majority of these come from passenger cars, 18% are from trucks and HGVs, and 17% are from vans. But as the Government points out in its 2021 Transport Decarbonisation Plan the change needed to realise a net-zero transport sector makes sense even without the global climate change imperative.

Benefits of Green Logistics

So, what are the benefits of switching away from fossil-fuelled vans and trucks, other than cleaner air?

1. Lower running costs – with diesel availability and prices a constant concern, and with the wider introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZ), Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZs), and pay per mile road schemes, switching to greener vehicles makes day-to-day economic sense.

2. Lower maintenance costs – with fewer moving parts, the maintenance, and repair costs are said to be lower for electric vehicles.

3. Less noise –half the UK population is exposed to daytime noise levels that are above recommended limits which results in negative health impacts costing between £7-10 billion per year. Zero-emission vehicles are quieter, particularly at low urban speeds. Research has also shown that a quieter cab means less stress for the driver too.

4. Increase in customer satisfaction – recent research showed that 73% of consumers want to see more sustainable deliveries. Business Wire has predicted that the UK courier market will grow by a further 3.5% in 2022 but warns that competition for custom will become even more fierce. Having a sustainable delivery service could prove crucial to logistics companies’ success.

The Road to Greener Logistics

The electric revolution is already well underway for passenger vehicles with 1 in 3 cars sold in Q1 2022 being electric. The transition to electric vans and trucks, while attracting interest from businesses, is some distance behind with registrations accounting for just 6%.

Technology has helped commercial vehicle owners to overcome traditional barriers to switching. Vehicle ranges have improved thanks to better battery life which means last-mile delivery businesses such as couriers can now use electric vans and trucks. However, range and limited charging infrastructure is still an issue for long-distance transportation needs.

While we’ve recently seen the likes of Tesco and Amazon add electric HGVs to their fleets, another alternative fuel that has potential is hydrogen, the feasibility of which has recently been bolstered by a £240 million government grant.

Hydrogen is seen as ‘fundamental’ to achieving net-zero targets in heavy transport, and the world’s first ‘hydrogen transport hub’ has been set up in the Tees Valley. It’s a research and development centre that will be launching pilots of hydrogen-powered vehicles. So, it’s a case of watch this space…

With home delivery said to be 24 times more eco-friendly than individuals getting in their own cars to go shopping, the rise of online shopping sounds like a good thing for the environment as well as the logistics businesses in Lincolnshire. The rise in online shopping is a key contributor to the growth in the transport and logistics industry according to a recent report from the Office For National Statistics (ONS). The number of logistics premises and warehouses are said to have doubled in the last decade as the UK’s eCommerce market hit £182.9 billion in 2021. But is switching vehicles all that’s needed to clean up our environment?

More to Eco-Friendly Logistics Than Vehicles

There’s more the logistics industry can do to make deliveries more sustainable. Many firms are making commitments to using recyclable packaging and removing their use of single-use plastics. An increase in the use of parcel lockers results in fewer miles as does a higher rate of successful first-attempt deliveries. Companies are also looking at ways to offset their carbon emissions in a bid to reach net-zero targets and we’ve seen solar panels appearing on warehouse roofs. In more urban areas Cargo bikes are being introduced and a number of pilots of delivery drones and autonomous delivery robots are already underway.

With transport and storage now the largest industry in parts of the East of England, our region has a lot to gain from embracing the change to cleaner and more energy-efficient operations. Haulage and logistics are significant industries for Lincolnshire, with the Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership’s (GLEP) figures showing that between them they employ 18,000 workers and contribute £800m. Existing green technologies are improving all the time and new ones are now being sought and researched. This makes for an exciting time for the logistics sector, and at Coversure Grantham we’re looking forward to seeing what the green future holds for our truck and courier customers.

Like Some Commercial Vehicle Insurance Help?

We hope this green logistics blog has been of interest. If you would like some independent truck, courier, commercial vehicle, or business insurance advice that’s tailored to your needs then please get in touch. You can call us free on 0800 308 1020, email Coversure Grantham or get a no-obligation commercial vehicle insurance quote here.

Sources:
Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Transport and Environment Statistics: 2021 Annual Report (publishing.service.gov.uk)
Transport decarbonisation plan – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Hermes UK reveals 73% of consumers want more sustainable deliveries – (chargedretail.co.uk)
Registrations Archives – SMMT
Government unveils investment for energy technologies of the future – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Environmental impact of online shopping (britishcouncil.org)
The rise of the UK warehouse and the “golden logistics triangle” – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

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