The road freight transport market in the United Kingdom was valued at USD 40.35 billion in 2019 and is expected to register a growth rate of more than 0.5% during the forecast period.
- Irrespective of the wide range of circumstances, like Brexit, the UK road freight transport sector is rather stable. In 2018/2019, the road freight activity experienced a positive Y-o-Y growth although at a slower pace than a year earlier.
- In terms of infrastructure, the United Kingdom has a well-developed road network of motorways and main roads known as A roads. All other types of roads have been managed by local authorities. These are class B, C, and U roads. The UK rail network covers 17,000 km. It is one of the oldest in the world. The United Kingdom also has 22 maritime ports. The port of Dover is one of the most important. In 2018, nearly 2.5 million trucks passed through.
- The British government has been planning to develop ports on the east coast of Britain so that the Port of Calais can be bypassed in the event of serious delays arising from the impact of Brexit. Currently, Dover handles much larger quantities of this kind of trade than other ports, dealing with up to 10,000 trucks a day.
- The United Kingdom’s commercial vehicle sector is critical to the fight against coronavirus, working night and day to deliver food, medicine, and other essential goods and services to support society’s most vulnerable and help prop up the economy. According a survey, it was noted that the transport industry may take longer than a year to return to the pre-COVID-19 levels of work.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand from E-commerce Sector
The total value of the UK B2C eCommerce market is calculated to be around USD 233 billion and has grown at 11% Y-o-Y between 2018 and 2019. E-commerce currently accounts for 19% of total retail spending. The fastest growing online shopping categories are food and personal care, furniture and appliances, and fashion and beauty.
Rapid delivery has been becoming more important to consumers, as they continue to choose speed and convenience over cost. That means that getting orders to the customer on time is absolutely crucial. And, with the rise of same-day delivery services as retailers try to match Amazon’s one-hour and two-hour delivery options, there need to be quicker picking and packing processes implemented in warehouses. There also needs to be better communication between each step of the supply chain to ensure they can provide competition.
The road freight transport operates the most extensive transport network of all the freight modes, which provides flexibility and convenience of door-to-door delivery and supports the growing e-commerce. Road freight transport occupies a major share in the inland freight transport, with around 90% followed by rail.
The United Kingdom’s continued leading role in online retail is causing the logistics and transport sectors to rethink their models to ensure future growth. Consumer demands for flexible deliveries have increased, which provides retailers and the logistics sector the challenge to achieve the required level of flexibility. In regard to this, the demand for last mile delivery services and less than truck load service have been growing significantly with many start-ups are entering the market to address the challenges occurred the explosion of e-commerce.
Spotlight on UK International Road Freight Sector
The UK road freight transport activity has very little international focus, weighing only 4% of the total activity of the pavilion. The UK international road freight transport activity is concentrated in the neighboring countries, namely France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
According to industry sources, Brexit is going to have a significant impact on the international road freight transport market. As per the current situation, the UK haulers would not be allowed for cabotage transport in the EU from January 2021, and the EU haulers are not going to be allowed for cabotage transport in the United Kingdom.
Local carriers actually have particularly high infrastructure costs, half of which relate to tunnels and ferries. Taxes are also higher in comparison with neighboring countries.
Ports are increasingly working on improving efficiencies. For instance, truck turnaround times at the Port of Liverpool have fallen after owner Peel Ports said it had turned its focus to road haulage efficiencies. The port also said turnaround times for hauliers is now consistently below 40 minutes. For much of the UK container market, Liverpool is the port that offers the shortest supply chain, helping to reduce costs, congestion, and carbon emissions.
In 2018, almost 3.5 million road goods vehicles traveled from the United Kingdom to Europe, comprising 2.4 million powered vehicles and almost 1.1 million unaccompanied trailers. Overall, this was 0.7% lower than 2017 and 9.9% higher than 10 years ago in 2008. Powered vehicles include rigid lorries, articulated lorries (tractors and trailers, counted as one unit), and tractor units with no trailer. Unaccompanied trailers include tow-bar trailers and articulated semi-trailers, not accompanied on the ferry by a tractor unit.
The UK road freight transport market provides an example of near-perfect competition, as there are a large number of buyers and sellers operating in the market, road haulage costs are well understood, and there are few barriers to entry, particularly in terms of capital investment and regulation. In this environment, where profit margins are shrinking, road haulage operators have to be highly efficient and cost-effective, in order to remain profitable.
Throughout Europe, and especially in the United Kingdom, there are thousands of road transport operators handling materials for retail, manufacturing, automotive, and construction industries. The domestic road transportation business increased in the past few years, and this led to higher competition among the local players.
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Table of Contents
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Technological Trends
4.3 Government Regulations and Initiatives
4.4 Value Chain/Supply Chain Analysis
4.5 Spotlight on Freight Rates
4.6 Commentary on Operating Costs (share of fuel costs, wages, vehicle maintenance, etc. and their trends)
4.7 Demand and Supply Analysis (Trucks, Drivers, Labor, etc.)
4.8 Insights on Intermodal/Container Utilization in Trucking
4.9 Brief on Other Segments, such as CEP, Last Mile Delivery, Cold Chain Logistics
4.10 Impact of Covid-19 on the Market
5.2 By End User
5.2.1 Manufacturing (Including Automotive)
5.2.2 Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying
5.2.3 Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry
5.2.5 Distributive Trade (wholesale and retail trade)
5.2.6 Pharmaceutical and Healthcare
5.2.7 Other End Users (Telecommunications, etc.)
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Wincanton PLC
6.2.2 Eddie Stobart Logistics PLC
6.2.3 Howard Tenens
6.2.4 Gist Ltd
6.2.5 Turners (Soham) Limited
6.2.6 Clipper Logistics Group
6.2.7 Harry Yearsley Limited
6.2.8 W H Malcolm Ltd
6.2.9 Europa Worldwide Logistics
6.2.10 Gregory Distribution (Holdings)
6.2.11 Fowler Welch
6.2.12 Hoyer Petrolog UK
6.2.13 C M Downton (Haulage Contractors) Ltd
6.2.14 Kinaxia Logistics Limited
6.2.15 Pentalver Transport
6.2.17 XPO Logistics
6.2.19 Kuehne + Nagel International AG
6.2.20 DSV Road
8.2 Trade Statistics (Exports and Imports by products and by country of destination/origin)
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Wincanton PLC
- Eddie Stobart Logistics PLC
- Howard Tenens
- Gist Ltd
- Turners (Soham) Limited
- Clipper Logistics Group
- Harry Yearsley Limited
- W H Malcolm Ltd
- Europa Worldwide Logistics
- Gregory Distribution (Holdings)
- Fowler Welch
- Hoyer Petrolog UK
- C M Downton (Haulage Contractors) Ltd
- Kinaxia Logistics Limited
- Pentalver Transport
- XPO Logistics
- Kuehne + Nagel International AG
- DSV Road