As a business we insure a lot of trucks, HGVs and fleets of commercial vehicles. From haulage contractors to couriers, HGV drivers to removal firms, our van and truck insurance provides protection for a wide range of businesses and professions. As a result, we have great insight into what’s happening in the fast-changing world of trucks and logistics and we can honestly say that 2019 looks set to be an important year for the logistics industry as a whole.
In this latest blog, we’ll look at some of the big changes that are coming the industry’s way and find a future that is, undoubtedly different, but also bright.
What Does Brexit Mean For The Haulage Industry?
There can few industries that will be more directly affected by Brexit than haulage and logistics. From getting supplies from European providers, producers exporting their wares to European customers to hauliers carrying others goods in and out of the EU, the Brexit outcome is business critical. In the event of no deal Brexit, we would see customs checks as the free movement of goods comes to an end which could involve delays and added paperwork – neither of which are good news for businesses in this sector.
On the other hand, if we do get a deal – and we believe that we will, just don’t ask us when! – then that will provide much-needed certainty and the logistics industry could boom. We say that for three reasons:
- The pent-up investment in the economy that has been built up owing to the whole Brexit uncertainty will be released and growth will return
- The opening up of new trade deals around the world could lead to an explosion of exported and imported goods – both of which are going to need transporting
- There will be a government spending spree. The government has a no deal reserve fund of round £26bn, money it says it will invest in the UK if there is a ‘smooth Brexit’. This would not only see much-needed improvements to our road infrastructure – providing a smoother, faster network for truck and van owners to operate on – but these improvements will require massive amounts of supplies delivering so haulage contracts should abound
As we say, we believe there will be a deal of some sort and that could help make 2019 a good year for truck owners and haulage businesses. One of the questions that 2019 also asks is what type of trucks will we driving…
Electric cars were once considered an emission-free pipe dream. In 2019, however, they’re taken very seriously and are predicted by Gartner to reach a compound annual growth rate of 22% by 2025 and be an industry that’s worth $567.3 billion. So, what about electric trucks? Are they going to be making silent deliveries this year?
Well unlike driverless trucks which are still a little way off (though they too are coming and with the government’s backing), electric trucks and lorries are very much in the here and now. DAF, Renault, Tesla, Daimler and electric pioneer Iveco all have electric trucks and vans ready to roll as they look to provide long-term, sustainable commercial vehicle fleets that will carry on once diesels are officially declared dead.
With environmental pressures growing and calls for clean air becoming ever louder, truck and lorry owners will have to think carefully about going electric sooner than they may think. For aside from the commercial advantages of electric vehicles – cheaper to run, cheaper to fix, more reliable, cheaper from a tax perspective and, in time, we believe cheaper to insure – these vehicles will have one other massive advantage: Access.
Clean Air Zones
Clean Air Zones (CAZ) – glorified congestion zones that charge polluting vehicles to enter them – are set to become commonplace. London, Glasgow, Oxford, Southampton and Nottingham all either have plans for them or are consulting on their introduction. Come January 2019 Birmingham will have one and drivers of HGVs and other highly polluting vehicles will be charged £50 per day to enter the Zone. Ouch!
The reasoning behind them is perfectly sound; our air is fast becoming unfit for breathing and is contributing to 40,000 premature deaths and a £20bn bill for the NHS each year. This obviously needs to be addressed, but where does it leave hauliers and others in the logistics industry whose livelihoods depend on access to towns and cities?
The options look stark: Pay the charge or switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle and avoid or least reduce charges. Neither is great in the short-term, but we have to look at this as a transition period in the industry, one that all drivers are going to have to adapt to. With diesel production set to be banned by 2040 – sooner if some have their way – and with cities such as Oxford and London considering emission free zones or even a ban on all vehicles, truck, lorry and van owners need to make plans now.
What Does 2019 Hold For Trucks And Logistics Industry?
Plenty! 2019 will be a year of change – and quite possibly great opportunity – for truck owners and those involved in the wider logistics industry. Uncertainty, alas, will continue – especially if Brexit drags on as looks likely, and the rise of CAZ, heavier duties on diesel could make things costlier and more difficult. However, in adversity there is opportunity and by moving to electric or hybrid trucks we can help save lives, cut costs and so help the UK logistics conquer the world. And in that scenario what’s not to like?
Like Some Insurance Help?
If you would like to know more about saving money on your insurance cover or would like some help getting the truck, lorry or van insurance that’s right for you, then please contact us. You can call the Coversure Kidderminster team on (01562) 822664, email us by clicking here or request a no-obligation insurance quote here.