A Government report from November shows an increase in motor vehicle traffic which could be indicating that the road haulage business is experiencing a small plus development. From last year October until September 2015 the motor vehicle traffic increased by 2.2%. Divided into motor vehicle types, LGV and HGV traffic also both increased over the last year by respectively 6% and 1.2% and as well in the last 20 years by respectively 70.4% and 2.9%.
Looking from another perspective, this tendency is not a positive indicator as an increase of motor vehicle traffic does not correspond with the Government targets for reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. The many kilometres of empty runs are interesting to look at in this relation. According to a study from 2014 from The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight the freight movements are going up, but the loads are not following. In 2014 HGVs transported goods of 139 billion tones kilometers, a decrease of 11 billion tones kilometers compared to 2013. And empty runs have increased by approx. 3% over the last 13 years. Almost half of all HGV kilometers are driving empty. The study also shows that most road hauliers (87%) have less than 10 employees and owns an average of 4 vehicles. And only 55 road haulage companies have more than 250 employees. The study concludes that the haulage industry consists of mostly smaller companies and they do not have the financial resources to buy eco-friendly equipment. However, the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight is trying to encourage even the smaller companies to rethink in order to meet Government regulations. A consortium has been set up with among others road haulage companies to find new solutions, according to the report they are already testing a decarbonisation software tool.
Avoiding empty runs with freight exchanges
It is not just the new technology which can help to reduce empty runs and follow the Government emission targets. An already existing software tool, freight exchanges, has been on the market and available to the road haulage companies for years. For example the company TimoCom offers a large freight exchange which works like a notice board where available freight and available vehicles are offered to those seeking. The TimoCom freight exchange tempts with up to 450,000 daily freight and vehicle offers from 100,000 users from the whole of Europe. And this solution could be interesting for the small and smaller haulage companies who, as mentioned in the study from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, do not have the financial back-up. TimoCom works with a flatrate of about 139.90 EUR/102 GBP per month and when having passed the verification and access check the road hauliers can search for available loads and/or return loads for exactly the type of vehicle they have, wherever they are.
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