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“The recession in the UK consolidated a trend that saw own account haulage, carried out ‘in-house’ by manufacturers and retailers, increase markedly as firms retrenched and reduced demand for third party haulage.”

– Ben Harris, Industrial Analyst

This report addresses the following key questions facing road hauliers in the industry:

  • How will UK hauliers’ competitiveness be affected by the introduction of the HGV Road User Levy in April 2014?
  • Will driver shortages affect the industry as new training standards are enforced from September 2014?
  • To what extent will rail industry subsidies and rail infrastructure investment push business towards rail freight transport and away from road haulage?
  • Will hauliers increase investment in Euro 6 standard trucks through 2014?
  • Is third party haulage likely to see an upturn following many firms’ decisions to take distribution in-house since the recession in 2008/09?

In terms of inland road freight transport, the UK is one of the largest markets in Europe, with only France, Spain, Germany and Poland accounting for more freight moved in terms of billion tonne kilometres. The road haulage market competes with other methods of freight transport, including rail, water, air and pipeline. At 19% of goods moved in the UK, freight transport by water is the second most common method, while rail freight accounts for 10%.

Rail is currently regarded as the most competitive alternative to road haulage, with successive UK governments having committed investment to improve rail infrastructure and subsidise freight transport by water and rail in order to ease congestion and reduce the environmental impact of road haulage. However, despite significant infrastructure investment, for the majority of customers rail freight is less flexible than road transport, with depots not always close to fast and reliable rail services. As a result, road haulage has an underlying competitive advantage.

Water freight’s advantages include reduced fuel costs and better environmental performance, however it remains for most firms a back-up form of transport and depends upon large freight volumes for its economies of scale to make it a competitive proposition. In addition, like rail freight, water transport is restricted by the location of the infrastructure and limited number of points for delivery and collection.

Road haulage operators typically serve companies operating in the retail and manufacturing industries, which require regular transport of goods between factories, warehouses and retail outlets in the UK. However, other sectors which use road haulage include the petroleum industry, defence sector and the construction industry.

Road haulage firms in the UK range from smaller, family-run firms that operate a limited fleet of vehicles to the larger logistics companies, which in addition to road haulage may offer other modes of freight transport, warehousing and added value services such as packing services, supply chain consultancy and record management.

Haulage firms will work closely in partnership with customers to ensure they are meeting key performance objectives and to ensure they guarantee the flexibility to provide a distribution service to companies operating manufacturing processes where more frequent, but smaller, consignments are required. For hauliers, they must demonstrate that they offer a service that is more efficient, reliable and cost-effective than their customer could manage themselves if they chose to insource this aspect of their business.

Typically, haulage contracts run for between three and five years. This in turn, allows the development of a close partnering arrangement based on criteria other than a strict lowest cost consideration. The nature of the contracts varies but examples are fixed fees based on a pre-agreed volume of goods to be carried, or a fee per delivery. Where purchasing power is greater, the former type allows low costs to be negotiated, while the latter contract type gives flexibility.

Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary

      • The market
        • Modest growth in 2013 reflects uptick in key demand sectors
          • Figure 1: Market for road haulage within Great Britain, 2009-13
        • Third party hauliers suffering from moves to bring distribution in-house
          • Figure 2: Domestic road freight transport moved in Great Britain, by type of ownership, 2009-13
        • Growth acceleration in 2014 projected for road haulage market
          • Figure 3: Forecast road haulage market in Great Britain, 2014-18
        • Market factors
          • Levy on HGV road use to take effect in 2014
            • Driver shortage on the horizon
              • Figure 4: Monthly completions of periodic Driver CPC training, 2013
            • Fuel prices remain higher for UK hauliers than on the continent
              • Figure 5: European average petrol and diesel prices, 2013
            • Rates show no signs of increasing
              • Figure 6: UK road freight transport price index, 2010-13
            • Companies
              • Wincanton sheds Foodservice business in a bid to grow profitability
                • Downton bucks industry trend to double in size over review period
                  • What we think
                  • Introduction

                    • Definitions
                      • Methodology
                        • Abbreviations
                          • Issues in the market
                            • Market positioning
                              • The customer
                                • The supplier
                                  • UK economy
                                    • Inflation
                                      • Interest rates
                                        • Manufacturing
                                          • Business investment
                                            • Imports
                                              • Exports
                                                • Market factors
                                                  • End-user sector performance
                                                    • Legislation and tax policy
                                                      • Fuel prices
                                                        • Competition from alternative freight transport modes
                                                        • Market Size and Trends

                                                            • Market size
                                                              • Domestic haulage
                                                                  • Figure 7: Market for road haulage within Great Britain, 2009-13
                                                                • International haulage
                                                                  • Figure 8: International road freight transport into/from the UK, 2009-13
                                                                • UK heavy goods vehicle parc
                                                                  • Figure 9: Heavy goods vehicle parc in Great Britain, 2009-13
                                                                • Market segmentation
                                                                  • Type of vehicle
                                                                    • Figure 10: Domestic road freight transport in Great Britain, by type of vehicle, 2009-13
                                                                  • Type of ownership
                                                                      • Figure 11: Domestic road freight transport in Great Britain, by type of ownership, 2009-13
                                                                    • Type of consignment
                                                                      • Figure 12: Domestic road freight transport lifted in Great Britain, by consignment, 2013
                                                                    • Market trends
                                                                      • HGV Road User Levy to be introduced in April 2014
                                                                        • Deadline for Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) approaching
                                                                          • Figure 13: Monthly completions of periodic Driver CPC training, 2013
                                                                        • Euro 6 emission standards in force from start of 2014
                                                                          • Road haulage rates demonstrating minimal growth
                                                                              • Figure 14: UK road freight transport price index, 2010-13
                                                                            • Fuel duty rates higher in UK than Europe while prices remain sky high
                                                                              • Figure 15: Typical retail cost of fuel and fuel duty level in the UK, 2000-13
                                                                              • Figure 16: European average petrol and diesel prices, 2013
                                                                              • Figure 17: Average petrol and diesel taxes and duties in EU member states, 2013
                                                                            • Final year for hauliers to exploit increased investment allowance is underway
                                                                              • Investment in new haulage fleet receives boost through 2013
                                                                                • Figure 18: UK commercial vehicle registrations, by type of vehicle, 2004-13
                                                                              • Subsidies and infrastructure development aid competitor freight transport modes
                                                                                • Figure 19: Domestic freight transport in Great Britain, by mode, 2009-13
                                                                              • Regional analysis of road freight lifted
                                                                                • Figure 20: Regional analysis of domestic goods lifted, by origin and destination, 2013
                                                                            • Industry Structure

                                                                              • Chapter summary
                                                                                • Industry development
                                                                                  • Insolvency levels show signs of easing through 2013
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Corporate liquidations and insolvency procedures in land-based transport sector, 2009-13
                                                                                  • Slight recovery underway in 2012 and 2013 with new market entrants
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Analysis of the changes in the structure of the road haulage industry, 2009-13
                                                                                  • Structure by turnover
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Analysis of the financial structure of the road haulage sector, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                  • Structure by employment
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Analysis of the employment structure of the road haulage sector, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                  • Company profiles
                                                                                    • Canute Distribution
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Financial analysis of Canute Distribution, 2009-13
                                                                                      • CEVA Logistics
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Financial analysis of CEVA Logistics, 2008-12
                                                                                        • CM Downton
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Financial analysis of CM Downton, 2008-12
                                                                                          • DHL Supply Chain
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Financial analysis of DHL Supply Chain, 2008-12
                                                                                          • Eddie Stobart
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Financial analysis of Eddie Stobart, 2009-13
                                                                                            • Gregory Distribution
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Financial analysis of Gregory Distribution, 2008-12
                                                                                              • Kuehne + Nagel
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Financial analysis of Kuehne + Nagel, 2008-12
                                                                                                • NFT Distribution Holdings
                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Financial analysis of NFT Distribution Holdings, 2009-13
                                                                                                  • Norbert Dentressangle Transport Services UK
                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Financial analysis of Norbert Dentressangle Transport Services UK, 2008-12
                                                                                                    • Ryder
                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Financial analysis of Ryder, 2008-12
                                                                                                      • Wincanton Holdings
                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Financial analysis of Wincanton Holdings, 2009-13
                                                                                                      • Forecast

                                                                                                        • Chapter summary
                                                                                                          • Market size
                                                                                                            • Recovering demand in key end-use sectors
                                                                                                              • Fuel costs head list of concerns in internal market environment
                                                                                                                • Competition from the rail freight sector expected to increase
                                                                                                                  • Haulage market growth expected to be most significant during 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Forecast road haulage market in Great Britain, 2014-18
                                                                                                                  • Market segmentation
                                                                                                                    • By type of vehicle
                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Forecast domestic road freight transport in Great Britain, by type of vehicle, 2014-18
                                                                                                                    • By type of ownership
                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Forecast domestic road freight transport in Great Britain, by type of ownership, 2014-18
                                                                                                                    • Industry
                                                                                                                      • Acquisition activity to continue but new entrants increase competition
                                                                                                                        • Cost advantage over European hauliers
                                                                                                                          • Investment in IT systems to underpin efficiency gains
                                                                                                                            • Road pricing expected to become reality
                                                                                                                              • Online retail growth to change nature of market for road hauliers
                                                                                                                              • Further Sources and Contacts

                                                                                                                                • Trade associations
                                                                                                                                  • Trade magazines

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