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The British road transport sector and the logistics industry are vital to the UK economy but what does 2018 have in store for these sectors? We take a look at some industry trends, changes and predictions and the impact they might have.

Driving & Logistics

Driver shortages

Shortages of drivers have been a hot topic in the industry for some time.  The problem hasn’t gone away but for drivers it isn’t all bad news.  The skills shortage in this area can mean a better choice of assignments for drivers, more flexibility and good rates of pay for those who are experienced and reliable.  At Foresight we see first-hand the demand for and the availability of drivers and as an industry leading recruitment and training specialist we are actively involved in supporting and training professional drivers.

IOT and digitalisation

Sensor and tracking innovation is going to have a dramatic impact on all aspects of the driving and logistics.  Warehousing, stock taking and inventory could all be streamlined by developments in technology and harnessing the functionality of the internet of things.  We predict that next year will see businesses of all shapes and sizes adopting the new technology if they haven’t already.

Infrastructure investment

Back in June the government announced an investment of £6.1 billion in improving the country’s road networks.  The improvements aim to reduce congestion, improve journey times and increase connectivity.  The benefits won’t be instant and some schemes will take longer than others but the investment has been welcomed by drivers and the Road Haulage Association.  Hopefully some of the improvements will have a positive impact next year.

Pressure on delivery times

Online shopping has been increasing steadily and is showing no signs of slowing down.  Consumers expectations of the whole online shopping experience are increasing and delivery times are a key factor.  We predict that in 2018 delivery times will get shorter.

Autonomous vehicles

It is almost impossible to talk about the future of the driving industry without mentioning driverless vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are always in the news but we don’t think we’ll be seeing them taking to the UK roads in a commercial capacity anytime soon.  Trials and pilots have been met with a mixture of concern and incredulity from the general public.  Driverless technology might be advancing but there is a long way to go before people are prepared to accept them.    There have been reports that they could be on our roads by 2021, others say they are at least ten years away…. watch this space.

Drones

We’ve all heard about Amazon trialling drones for deliveries.  It might sound futuristic but will it take off? (Pardon the pun!) We’re not so sure.  There are certainly limitations, drones can’t deliver to flats and apartments and there is the security aspect to consider too.  We think we might see more experimentation but don’t believe that we’ll really start to see regular deliveries by drone in the near future.

Driving costs

From the 1st April 2018 there will be a freeze for HGV Vehicle Excise Duty and Road User Levy rates.   Although vehicle excise duty is going up next year for drivers of most diesel cars the chancellor has said the increase only applies to cars so van and lorry drivers won’t be affected by the rise.

The government has also stated that it will work with industry to update the Road User Levy so that it rewards hauliers that plan their routes efficiently.

Do you have any industry predictions for 2018?  We’d love to hear them, please share them with us on our social media.

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