UK Transport Crisis?

Truxx

LE
This is as good a read on the subject as any. In particular (and this is a useful statistics to chuck at those frothing on facebook about "chucking EU drivers out) although 12000 left, 24000 remain.

 
Obviously I keep bit of an eye on the fortunes of owner drivers/ small hauliers. Who are being driven from the mix in massive numbers.

Can you expand on that?

I would have thought it was a great time to be either of those things at the moment but I have only spoken to one bloke I know who has half a dozen trucks and fridges and has taken the view that he's not going to shaft the local food customers he has had for years and potentially trash a business he hopes to pass on by ruining those relationships.

I would have thought ODs were bagging up.
 
Can you expand on that?

I would have thought it was a great time to be either of those things at the moment but I have only spoken to one bloke I know who has half a dozen trucks and fridges and has taken the view that he's not going to shaft the local food customers he has had for years and potentially trash a business he hopes to pass on by ruining those relationships.

I would have thought ODs were bagging up.

One thing - OD's won't have "economies of scale" in their running costs. So if the big operators can't make a job pay, an OD is unlikely to do any better.
 
This is as good a read on the subject as any. In particular (and this is a useful statistics to chuck at those frothing on facebook about "chucking EU drivers out) although 12000 left, 24000 remain.

Under the EUSS scheme and wanted to stay in the UK it was all but impossible to fail the requirements to get Leave to Remain - people wanting to leave the UK due to Brexit should have been minimal and only those too stupid or lazy to bother to register.

Other factors played into that as the article suggests.
 
More transport problems on the horizon......

European AdBlue factories suspend production, significant price increases expected​

Slovakian carriers have reportedly started panic-buying AdBlue after Duslo, the largest AdBlue factory in Europe, announced a suspension of production due to high gas prices. German supplier SKW Piesteritz has also reduced its production, as has Yara's plant in Italy. A significant price increase is thus expected.

Pölös Zsófia
Pölös Zsófia
Journalist Trans.info

21.10.2021
 
Obviously I keep bit of an eye on the fortunes of owner drivers/ small hauliers. Who are being driven from the mix in massive numbers.


The bloke I'm heading off to work for has 18 and is thriving
Has sufficient work to be looking to expand, pays enough to be attractive to drivers

The next challenge for him us that he's going to have to expand using used lorries as new ones are unobtainable
 
I said a long time ago now that I did not buy the oft reported RHA shortage number of 100,000.

It seems I am not so daft after all as the "true" shortfall is more like 50,000. This from

Lorry drivers in UK plunge by 53,000 in past four years – ONS

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said analysis of the annual population survey has revealed an estimated 17% plunge in the number of HGV drivers working in the UK to 268,000 in the year to June, down from a peak of 321,000 in 2016-17.

But industry figures have put the shortage of lorry drivers in the UK at a far higher 100,000.

The ONS report underlines the issues facing the crisis-stricken haulage industry, with an ageing workforce, a shortage of EU nationals and mounting costs and red tape in the wake of Brexit.

The ONS said there were nearly a third fewer (29%) lorry drivers working in the UK aged between 46 and 54 than in the year to June 2017, with a 34,000 drop.

Nearly a third of all hauliers in the UK were aged 56 or over in 2020-21, with just under 20% aged between 19 and 35.

The figures showed the impact of the pandemic on the number of EU drivers working in the UK, with a 12,000 or 30% plunge since 2017.

The number of UK lorry drivers has fallen by 15%, or 42,000, in the same time.

Most of the decline has been seen in the past two years, particularly during the pandemic, which has taken its toll on EU drivers willing to work in the UK.
I always suspected the number was 100k caveats with the ‘it’s a 100k because that allows us to drive wages down even further and cut back on overtime.

We didn’t seem to have a crisis pre pandemic. Or if we did, it wasn’t reported on.

All of a sudden we loose about 50k drivers (of which only 20% are EU nationals) and there’s a backlog of about 50k drivers waiting to take their test.

You’ve then got a media who’s been banging on about brexit Armageddon, non of which appears to have materialised. Left with a post pandemic screwed up global supply chain that needs to be explained in either a sound bite, 2 minute news story or 160 characters Twitter.

Do they say A:-

Post pandemic supply chains have been distrusted globally due to migrant Labour not moving around, cargo ships being laid up for extended periods of time so they’re not in the right places. The limited numbers of ISO containers in the world seem to be half full of PPE equipment that every panic bought, no longer needs in the quantities they ordered so rather than unload it into whatehouses, they’ve decided to leave them in the ISO containers in ports. This has reduced the number of available ISO containers but also created a backlog of containers that need shifting and made it more difficult to get to the containers you need because they’re under or behind containers you don’t need.

China’s trying to export its way out of this so China’s paying over the odds for aforementioned spare ISO containers and paying over the odds for container ships to get back to China as quickly as possible so once these ships have unloaded they’re not even loading up with containers for the return journey. They’re sailing back to China empty.

Loads of people have banked a load of cash during lockdown and want to spend it so the supply chains are under even more pressure to not only replace existing stocks of sheds, garden furniture and building materials that were consumed in numbers during lockdown that nobody thought possible.

There’s the same issues with oil and gas. Everybody wants it but all of the tankers parked up, are in the wrong places and everybody wants to use them at the same time so those prices have been driven up.

During the pandemic globally it was decided that testing drivers of cars and lorries wasn’t important. After all, we’re asking everybody to socially distance and it’s a bit difficult to socially distance in the cab of a HGV. But nobody realised that whilst those tests are delayed people are hitting retiring this age or questioning their life choice and finding other work as a global pandemic has got some
People thinking they’d prefer to spend more time with their family. And let’s be honest, if you drive a wagon and had to work through various lockdowns you’ve been on the go non stop for 18 odd months more than likely without a holiday.

Or do you say B.

It was brexit.

It’s a nice sound Bite, you can cover it in 160 characters After all, we don’t want you to think we’ve been peddling pish for the last 4 years.
 

Truxx

LE
Obviously I keep bit of an eye on the fortunes of owner drivers/ small hauliers. Who are being driven from the mix in massive numbers.
Small outfits are getting hammered by undercutting from the Stobarts of this world ( who have based their business model on low wages) the truck buying/leasing market favours those placing orders for relatively large numbers of trucks and trailers, the supermarkets/ big businesses want to deal (and have eye wateringly tight contracts) with big entities not small ones, getting and keeping an operators licence is expensive and risky, but above all insurance companies make it very difficult to insure loads. Move 3 types of load (hay, livestock and, say, timber) and you will need 3 separate insurance policies, whereas the big boys can negotiate preferential all-encompassing policies. Which reduce their costs. Which means they can undercut the little guy. Same detail with fuel, a big concern might be saving 10% over the individual owner driver.

This is exactly the situation that has seen the demise of small shops and the growth of the big supermarket chains.

There are some specialisations that are covered really well by the flexibility and can-do approach of the little guys, but these same folks are also having to put up with all the same stresses and strains that "employed" drivers do. There is no chance of an owner driver making 40K in a year.

So guess what they are doing? Driving for someone else or stacking shelves in Tesco, that's what.
 

Truxx

LE
The bloke I'm heading off to work for has 18 and is thriving
Has sufficient work to be looking to expand, pays enough to be attractive to drivers

The next challenge for him us that he's going to have to expand using used lorries as new ones are unobtainable
I would not call 18 small. With trailers that is £2millions worth.
 
Small outfits are getting hammered by undercutting from the Stobarts of this world ( who have based their business model on low wages) the truck buying/leasing market favours those placing orders for relatively large numbers of trucks and trailers, the supermarkets/ big businesses want to deal (and have eye wateringly tight contracts) with big entities not small ones, getting and keeping an operators licence is expensive and risky, but above all insurance companies make it very difficult to insure loads. Move 3 types of load (hay, livestock and, say, timber) and you will need 3 separate insurance policies, whereas the big boys can negotiate preferential all-encompassing policies. Which reduce their costs. Which means they can undercut the little guy. Same detail with fuel, a big concern might be saving 10% over the individual owner driver.

This is exactly the situation that has seen the demise of small shops and the growth of the big supermarket chains.

There are some specialisations that are covered really well by the flexibility and can-do approach of the little guys, but these same folks are also having to put up with all the same stresses and strains that "employed" drivers do. There is no chance of an owner driver making 40K in a year.

So guess what they are doing? Driving for someone else or stacking shelves in Tesco, that's what.

Examples may come to me, whilst typing this, but I am sure there are examples of equivalent industries, where owners of "small businesses" group together to negotiate such things as, fuel supply contacts, presumably possibly also favourable insurance policies, and (if they can agree and really club-together together) vehicle/trailer purchasing ?!

Maybe that is what the RHA, etc., should be concentrating on ?!
 
Last edited:

Mr_Relaxed

War Hero
There is another uncomfortable truth to the haulage crisis

Lots of operators, including the large retailers, have used the opportunity to rationalise unprofitable movements
No money in it, don't bother doing it

There's never been a better opportunity to palm off the shit work
We’ve experienced that as a firm - the kit we sell does not easily work in a conveyor system and is a bit fragile. Courier company we were using cancelled the contract, easier work to be found elsewhere.

Firm we now use are more expensive and more prone to damaging the kit, so we’re going to have to bring it in-house, which brings its own challenges.
 
The bloke I'm heading off to work for has 18 and is thriving
Has sufficient work to be looking to expand, pays enough to be attractive to drivers

The next challenge for him us that he's going to have to expand using used lorries as new ones are unobtainable
All the best @jagman2 .
One of my brothers is hanging on for a big company. My other brother has driven for a smaller firm for years. Crap vehicles, picking scraps from the table etc. Some of which can be quite profitable.
Jag upgrade coming on?
 
Examples may come to me, whilst typing this, but I am sure there are examples of equivalent industries, where owners of "small businesses" group together to negotiate fuel supply contacts, presumably possibly also favourable insurance policies, and (if they can agree and really club-together together) vehicle/trailer purchasing ?!

Maybe that is what the RHA, etc., should be concentrating on ?!
It can be difficult.

Interestingly, when you look at the economic policy of Nazi Germany, they were very big on throwing work at the big boys (Siemens, BMW, Bosch, IG Farben and it’s subsidiaries such as BASF and AGFA) used their financial backing to put the smaller competitors out of business.

The automotive supply chain managed to club together in the 2000s as they were being assaulted piecemeal by the automotive big boys. (We’ll come in, audit your process and we’ll allow you to make 5% on what we think it costs you to make the part. And by the way, if you stop production we’ll fine to £30k a minute and charge you £250 admin fee every time we find something wrong.)

It worked quite well for a bit, then all of a sudden the usual ‘components need to be made 30 minutes from the assembly site’ and a lot of Tier 1 and 2 jobs were relocated to larger German and German opened eagerness European factories in a centralised manner.

You only have a few ways of making real money in any industry.

Offer something nobody else offers. (Think Amazon with its Kindle)

Offer something to people that other providers avoid providing to. (Think Wonga loans)

Operates more effectively than the competitors. (Think Dell computers.)

The competitors completely f*ck up.

Stobarts will f*ck up at some point and lose its crown or somebody else will outperform them.

Somebody might figure out that they can do a HGV equivalent of Uber and use technology to more effectively plan shipments in order to reduce wasted journeys.

We’ll see a shift in consumer purchasing techniques and buying more locally.

The rail sector up its game or somebody comes up with a method of automating canal boats and shifting freight longer distances in a more environmentally and sustainable manner.
 
All the best @jagman2 .
One of my brothers is hanging on for a big company. My other brother has driven for a smaller firm for years. Crap vehicles, picking scraps from the table etc. Some of which can be quite profitable.
Jag upgrade coming on?

Thanks, it's taken a bit of getting out of my current job but I finish on new years eve

The Commissioners are being unusually cooperative, took them all of 4 days to change one of my O Licences from Standard to Resticted
I'll do the other one next week when I'm back from a long weekend away

I've nothing to lose really,if I don't like the new job there is no shortage of alternatives!

My current employers are running around flapping a bit but they should have started listening earlier
 
We’ve experienced that as a firm - the kit we sell does not easily work in a conveyor system and is a bit fragile. Courier company we were using cancelled the contract, easier work to be found elsewhere.

Firm we now use are more expensive and more prone to damaging the kit, so we’re going to have to bring it in-house, which brings its own challenges.

In house transport always works
It isn't always cheaper but service is always streets ahead of 3rd party
 
That’s the expectation regards to service, and we’ve brought in someone who had their own courier business to set it up. But it’s not going to be cheap to set up.

Couldn't comment on your particular model as I have no knowledge of your operation but on a previous distribution model we put 40% of our product out by 3rd party carriers

Removing them ultimately reduced distribution cost by over a third

It doesn't necessarily have to cost more, especially once you've eliminated losses and damages
 

Truxx

LE
It can be difficult.

Interestingly, when you look at the economic policy of Nazi Germany, they were very big on throwing work at the big boys (Siemens, BMW, Bosch, IG Farben and it’s subsidiaries such as BASF and AGFA) used their financial backing to put the smaller competitors out of business.

The automotive supply chain managed to club together in the 2000s as they were being assaulted piecemeal by the automotive big boys. (We’ll come in, audit your process and we’ll allow you to make 5% on what we think it costs you to make the part. And by the way, if you stop production we’ll fine to £30k a minute and charge you £250 admin fee every time we find something wrong.)

It worked quite well for a bit, then all of a sudden the usual ‘components need to be made 30 minutes from the assembly site’ and a lot of Tier 1 and 2 jobs were relocated to larger German and German opened eagerness European factories in a centralised manner.

You only have a few ways of making real money in any industry.

Offer something nobody else offers. (Think Amazon with its Kindle)

Offer something to people that other providers avoid providing to. (Think Wonga loans)

Operates more effectively than the competitors. (Think Dell computers.)

The competitors completely f*ck up.

Stobarts will f*ck up at some point and lose its crown or somebody else will outperform them.

Somebody might figure out that they can do a HGV equivalent of Uber and use technology to more effectively plan shipments in order to reduce wasted journeys.

We’ll see a shift in consumer purchasing techniques and buying more locally.

The rail sector up its game or somebody comes up with a method of automating canal boats and shifting freight longer distances in a more environmentally and sustainable manner.
Rail sector already upping its game. 80 trucks worth a day starting to come out of Immingham by rail daily apparently.
 

stuskimac

Old-Salt
Stobarts will f*ck up at some point and lose its crown or somebody else will outperform them.
Stobarts are now owned by the Culina group

 

Latest Threads

Top