Business, Freight News, Logistics, Road

Truckers still on growth track despite problems, says survey

[ June 3, 2021   //   ]

More than a third of European road transport businesses are thinking about expanding their operations into other countries, especially in the UK, according to a survey by legal and business services firm, DWF.
The survey, carried out by One Poll for DWF, found that despite the challenges of the last year including Brexit and Covid, transport companies polled in Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland are looking to grow.
Some 38%of haulage decision makers who transport goods to the UK said their company is currently considering relocating or establishing new bases in the UK. The UK was closely followed by Italy (31%), Germany (30%), Poland (30%) and Spain (26%) as other destinations where haulage companies were considering launching or expanding operations.
While the desire to expand into other European countries may be partly driven by opportunity, some companies are being forced to reconsider their business models due to changes to rules relating to weekly rest entitlement for drivers.
New EU regulations mean that operators will have to organise the workloads of international drivers to ensure they return home more regularly and are intended to end the practice of international drivers spending weeks away from home. The survey finds that 63% said they will arrange transport home to base for international drivers, while 36% of those surveyed said they will look to establish one or more additional bases with a view to drivers completing shorter legs of international journeys as a result.
Partner and head of road transport and logistics at DWF, Vikki Woodfine, said: “Our survey clearly shows that European road transport decision makers are gearing up for expansion and change. There has been a period of consolidation and change in the market in this turbulent year, and as things settle down, opportunities from the reshuffle of the market emerge.
“It is positive to see a strong appetite to expand into the UK logistics market, despite Brexit and border concerns this year. Some of this will be driven by the opportunities arising from a post Covid/post Brexit market, others are driven by the need to react to EU Regulation changes requiring drivers to return home more regularly.”
However, the survey did find that Brexit and lack of free movement within the EU was a concern for 39%, while 42% of haulage companies consider the complexity of regulation involved in setting up operations in the UK to be a barrier to establishing a base here.