If you frequently drive on normal roads or motorways you have certainly come across heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). Some of them are painted with large logos on their sides masking it as Easy As HGV to tell what items are inside, whereas others have plain bodies making it difficult to know what they might be transporting. Honestly, HGVs are very common on UK roads but a majority of us are oblivious of the crucial contribution they make towards our daily lifestyles and how they support our economy. We present 6 facts that will broaden your understanding and make you reflect on your knowledge about the HGV truck industry.
The Majority of UK Goods Are Moved by Road
The first fact is quite stunning and unbelievable; 98% of all consumer goods used in the UK are transported by road. This includes everything from home appliances, jewellery, clothing, drinks and food. Transport of goods by road forms the spine of the UK economy and in its absence our economy would experience rapid deterioration. A lot of items and their constituent parts may be shipped from overseas, this explains why the transport sector is nervous about what will happen to their trading routes after Brexit is triggered.
Employs Hundreds of Thousands
The haulage industry, specifically HGV transportation and driving employs approximately 600,000 UK residents. Surprisingly, the percentage of female drivers is very low at 1.2%, a lot of work needs to be done to achieve equality in the sector. However, despite these high employment numbers, companies are still experiencing driver shortages and haulage businesses are predicting that there will be long delays before they hire the right personnel for 36% of their vacant positions while 15% of current positions will remain vacant.
Based on the fact that the UK goods economy is largely supported by HGV trucks it is therefore quite straightforward to know that haulage employs a large number of citizens. After all, drivers are only a single type of professional involved in haulage operations. There are other types of workers who are involved in loading and unloading of goods from trailers and warehouses, planners, supervisors and other staff in various supporting roles. This translates into total employment of approximately 2.5 million people in the UK haulage sector.
The Haulage Industry Is Worth a Lot
In addition to being one of the largest job creators in the UK, the haulage industry is highly valued. Based on the most recent estimates, the industry is worth about £124 billion to the UK’s economy. Therefore, when the haulage industry is said to be a key contributor to the UK economy, it is not an exaggeration! Haulage contributes a lot to the economy annually and this trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. However, the uncertainty around the events after Brexit has made experts question the future of this quite stable industry.
Age Is Just a Number!
The HGV sector is served by a wide range of people who have diverse demographics. Women drivers, male drivers, drivers who were previously practising in sales, career drivers who have been driving since graduating are all employed here. But are you aware that 48 years is the mean age of an HGV driver? In addition, 13% of employed drivers who are in this group are EU citizens, implying that they may be denied residency after Brexit.
Heavy Goods Ahead
By now we understand that HGVs can mean a lot of different things. But in matters of scale and size, this only gets better. For instance, currently, in the UK a total of 524,500 commercial vehicles above 3.5 tonnes are registered. That weight is approximately equal to that of an adolescent African elephant. 250,000 of the registered commercial vehicles are operated by Road Haulage Association (RHA) member drivers which guarantee the excellence and integrity of the drivers’ work.