Staveley Head

August 31, 2010 01:00 ET

Recession Hurts Road Haulage

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2010) - The Department for Transport (DfT) has published National Statistics on the activity of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), that is vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, during 2009 including foreign vehicle activity in the UK.

There was a significant decrease in HGV activity in 2009, with the amount of goods moved decreasing by 13% from the 2008 level to 132 billion tonne kilometres, the amount of goods lifted decreasing by 18% to 1,422 million tonnes and vehicle kilometres decreasing by 11% to 18.8 billion vehicle kilometres (11.7 billion vehicle miles). Articulated vehicles over 33 tonnes gross vehicle weight continue to account for the largest share of all goods moved with 73% of the market.

The DfT claims that over the last two years the decrease in the amount of goods moved by road has been proportionate with the decrease in output of the construction and manufacturing industries in the same period.

The number of UK registered goods vehicles travelling to mainland Europe fell by 9% between 2008 and 2009. In fact, the number of UK vehicles travelling has fallen by 38% since 1999 and, by contrast, the number of foreign vehicles has grown by 59% over the same period. This means that the UK's market share of goods vehicles travelling to and from Europe has fallen by 19% over ten years from 39% in 1999 to 20% in 2009.

At the end of 2009 there were 415,000 HGVs, over 3.5 tonnes GVW, registered in Great Britain, of which 7% were first registered in 2009. This is the lowest number first registered since 1992. Van traffic, at 41.4 billion vehicle miles, was also 2% down on 2008.

A spokesman for Staveley truck insurance providers, said "There isn't a great deal of comfort for the British road haulier anywhere in this report. However, it doesn't come as a total surprise as just about every road haulage operator in the country has to a greater or lesser extent felt the downturn effects of the recession. Everyone is now looking forward to 2011 and hoping for a substantial improvement in the market. Our biggest concern is the manner in which our cross-channel trade is being eroded. To lose 19% of the market to foreign competition over a ten year period is alarming. Perhaps the Government may now like to compare the levels of diesel prices, road taxes and other petty DfT levies applied in this country to those paid by our continental competition, and realise how the British road haulage operator is being slowly strangled to death."

Contact Information