If you happen to drive fairly often on the motorways, or even on regular roads, then you will have seen plenty of HGVs driving next to you. Some will be branded with large logos across their sides, which gives you a good idea of the goods that they are carrying inside of them, while others are totally blank, leaving you to wonder what is inside of them. Actually, that can be a very good car game to play on long trips – guess what is inside the HGV! Truthfully, HGVs are so commonly found on UK roads that we have a tendency to take them for granted, and not really appreciate how much our economy and lifestyles rely on their services.
Most UK Goods are Transported by Road
Maybe our most impressive and first fact is that 99% of all of the goods that are consumed in the UK get transported by road. This ranges from jewellery and clothing to food and drink. Road transport is the foundation of the UK economy, and we would be in serious trouble without it. Many of these products (or their component parts) might come from overseas, and that is why the haulage industry is concerned about the outcome of Brexit and how it will impact their trade routes.
Provides Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs
Transportation of goods and HGV driving provide about 600,000 jobs for residents of the UK. That is 600,000 drivers are employed currently due to the HGV industry. Just 1.2% of these are female, meaning there is equality work that definitely needs to be done still. Unfortunately, even with these high numbers, there is a driver shortage still, and it is estimated by the logistics businesses that there will a long delay in being able to fill 36% of their vacancies as they search for the right candidates, and another 15% of the current vacancies will end up not being filled.
Since such a high percentage of the UK economy relies on HGV trailers, it shouldn’t be too surprising to discover that haulage is also one of the largest employers. It isn’t only the drivers, after all, who are part of the haulage process. People are also needed for loading and unloading pallets from HGVs, as well as transport planners, warehouse managers, warehouses and much more. The haulage industry in the UK employs a total of about 2.5 million people. The haulage industry, based on this number, is the 5th largest employer in the UK behind HMRC, the military, and the NHS.
Putting the Money Where the Haulage Is
In addition to being one of the UK’s largest employers, the haulage sector is worth a lot of money on its own. Recent estimates show that the haulage industry has a total worth of about £124 billion to the UK’s economy. So we really aren’t exaggerating when we state that the haulage industry is the economy’s backbone! Every year, haulage bring lots of money into the UK, and these numbers continue to increase. However, as uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to grow worse, experts are unsure what the future will hold for this industry which was once so stable.
Age is Only a Number
A wide range of various people is attracted by the HGV industry from many different demographics. There are women drivers, male drivers, drivers who are former insurance salesmen, as well as drivers who did their HGV theory training the moment they graduated from school. But were you aware of the fact that HGV drivers have an average age of 48? Also, 13% of drivers who are working in this sector currently are EU nationals, which means it isn’t a guarantee after Brexit that they will continue to be residents here.
Heavy Goods Ahead
We know by now that heavy good vehicles refer to many things. However, it gets very impressive when we start talking about the heaviest of all the heavy. For example, right now there are 524,000 commercial vehicles at over 3.5 tonnes that are registered currently in the UK. That is around the same amount of weight that an adolescent African elephant is. Out of this total number of registered HGVs, RHA (Road Haulage Association) members drive about 250,000 of them, which shows they are high-quality drivers.