Monday, November 25, 2019

Changing Road Haulage Vehicle Legislation Prompts New Approach to Fleet Renewal

Costs of Latest Generation Trucks Alter Purchasing Behaviour
Shipping News Feature

UK – The ever changing demands on road haulage operators are having an effect on the resale price of vehicles, particularly in areas where urban authorities are demanding ever stricter emission controls, with a potential for increasing freight delivery and collection costs in British cities.

The demands of metropolitan councils vary across the country but essentially the latest generation Euro VI vehicles are fetching double the price for second hand trucks as opposed to slightly older earlier generation models, effectively putting them out of the price range for small haulage outfits, with new vehicles even more unattainable.

Even the classic ‘asset light’ third party logistics companies are affected as their smaller transport providers face the conundrum of keeping lorries updated in the face of the constantly changing standards. The answer for many logistics providers is to be found in contract hire vehicles, such fleets being renewed regularly and removing the risk from the haulier.

One such is independent freight forwarding group Davies Turner which has announced an even more radical improvement, undertaking a complete renewal of its entire domestic distribution vehicle fleet, operating from all its main regional distribution hubs in the UK, thus future proofing itself from potential local or national changes in legislation.

Davies Turner offers a collection and delivery service throughout mainland UK, via its own in-house controlled nationwide distribution network, and the company's new vehicles include 7.5, 12 and 18-tonners. By taking the contract hire route, as opposed to outright purchase, the company has greater flexibility over future renewal options, and doesn't tie-up its capital in depreciating assets.

All the new vehicles carry Davies Turner's new livery, which has been specially-designed to commemorate the company's 150th anniversary in 2020. This includes a logo celebrating 150 years of service since 1870, as well as a recently introduced national customer service telephone number that incorporates the year in which Davies Turner was originally established. Philip Stephenson, Chairman of Davies Turner, explained the decision:

“Despite the economic and operating uncertainties arising from the Brexit process, business goes on and our investments on all fronts continue. Our decision to renew our domestic distribution fleet shows that Davies Turner remains committed to investing in such equipment whatever the future of international trade holds in store. That is something we have always done since the business was first created in 1870, through all the political and economic cycles affecting our international freight and logistics activities.”