If you’re a common driver on the motorways and regular roads, you see quite a few HGVs sharing those roads with you. Many of them are branded with huge logos and images up and down their sides, so you know pretty quickly who they are. On the other hand, some HGVs are totally blank, so you wind up having no idea what they’re doing. In either case, HGVs are such a frequent occurrence across the UK, that you likely don’t pay them that much attention, all without realising just how crucial they are to the national economy and supporting the lifestyles of millions. Here are 6 HGV industry facts that might leave you bewildered about what you thought you already knew:
1) Almost All Goods Are Transported on Roads:
The first fact, and perhaps the most startling one, is the fact that 98% of all UK consumer goods are transported by road, meaning a lot of people have gotten their HGV or LGV training! This covers anything from clothing garments and jewellery to foodstuffs and cosmetics. Road transportation is the heartbeat of the national economy. The nation would be in genuine trouble without it. A lot of the transported items, or just some of their parts and components, arrive in ports from overseas. This is why the national haulage industry is so concerned about the impact Brexit will have on trade routes.
2) 600,000 Jobs:
The transport of goods and HGV driving employs nearly 600,000 UK residents from coast to coast. That’s over half a million people who currently have jobs, just due to one industry alone. One shocking aspect of this is that less than 2% of those people are women, so the industry still has room for growth in terms of equality. Another staggering aspect is that even with so many in the field, a driver shortage persists. Businesses handling logistics anticipate having to wait a while before finding the right candidates for more than one-third of their vacancies. Some estimates suggest that 1 in 7 vacancies may never get filled.
3) Tremendous Loads:
Now that you know how much of the national economy relies specifically on just HGV trailers, you’re not going to be shocked to learn that haulage is also a huge source of employment. Consider the fact that drivers aren’t the only ones participating in this business. There are also those who move the pallets of goods between HGV trailers and warehouses or stores, as well as transport planners and warehouse managers, among other professionals. All told, the entire UK haulage sector provides employment to nearly 2.5 million individuals.
4) The Haulage Sector Is Worth Something:
On top of providing more employment than most other industries, the haulage sector proves quite valuable just by itself. At the time of writing, the most recent estimate evaluated the haulage industry of the UK at £124 billion. It’s not an exaggeration to claim that this industry is the very spine of the national economy. Haulage generates tremendous profit and revenue for the UK on a yearly basis, and the numbers are likely to go up. However, even industry experts can’t predict the future of a formerly stable industry, considering how much uncertainty surrounds Brexit.
5) You’re Only As Old As You Feel:
In order to employ so many people, the HGV industry draws in people from many different walks of life. There are of course many men driving, as well as some women. However, there are drivers that used to sell insurance or work in other careers, while some drivers have only known this since their school-age days. Here’s a fun fact: the average HGV driver is 48 years of age. Also, 13% of currently working drivers are EU nationals, which means that they are not guaranteed continued residency following Brexit.
6) Things Are Getting Heavy:
You’ve likely passed enough heavy goods vehicles to know that the signage can mean different things. However, the truly heaviest loads feature some staggering stats. For instance, the UK currently has more than half a million commercial vehicles registered at more than 3.5 tonnes each. That’s roughly identical to the weight of a teenage elephant in Africa. Among those, roughly half are driven by members of the Road Haulage Association, which just goes to show how good they are as a driver.