Recent weeks have proved to many of us that adaptability is key. The impact of the coronavirus is likely to be lasting and every industry is considering their traditional working methods – including those in the logistics sector. Industry clients require hauliers across the UK to deliver bespoke, efficient and reliable haulage solutions that meet their ever-changing needs seamlessly, and as we move toward an uncertain future, versatility and innovation will be integral.
In this article, we will explore how the haulage sector could evolve in the years to come – more specifically, how construction logistics will adapt to suit the demands of a developing world. These services can be some of the most demanding within the industry, often providing tailored transport services through major cities and thus anticipating some major changes. So, whilst nothing is set in stone, there are a number of changes that we might expect to see!
The FTA has announced that they’ll be launching sustainable infrastructure initiatives in Northern Ireland moving forward and it’s likely that this will be the case for the entirety of the UK in the near future. For construction logistics, in particular, a major challenge will arise in how to best adapt methodology and adopt environmentally-friendly procedures. Indeed, it’s no secret that the sector doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to carbon emissions.
That said, we are witnessing hauliers become more eco-conscious and taking collective steps toward positive change. A prominent transition for many arises with Low Emission Zone compliant fleets, which are moving goods in and out of London to support UK supply chains whilst limiting their impact on the city’s air quality and carbon footprint. However, as you would likely expect, there is still much to be done.
The future of construction logistics has its sights set on innovation and mass production. It’s likely that we will see the development of new technologies that prioritise sustainability and subvert expectations. The introduction of electric and carbon-neutral vehicles are suggested to be the front runners – massively reducing
the environmental impact of long-haul journeys. Of course, one of the notable drawbacks to wide-spread implementation of this sort of technology is that it currently doesn’t have the range or power to be effective – especially for making long haulage journeys. However, as technology advances and demand grows, this is something we might expect to be implemented in the future.
A Change in Supply Chains
The expansion of consolidation centres has been in the minds’ of many for some time now, but following this unusual period, there’s no reason that hauliers will not approach new challenges with a rejuvenated spirit. These expansions will allow regional distribution centres to become a thing of the past for construction logistics and instead make way for new centres that are tailored to the servicing of densely populated areas with intricate and time-dependent consignments.
Whilst now just a convenient stop-gap for forwarders to process their deliveries, it’s expected that these centres are set to become more – adding another link to the supply chain whilst improving communication between forwarders and clients.
A Change in Timings
A slight roadblock for haulage companies is the London Lorry Control Scheme which prevents heavy-weight vehicles from making journeys in certain residential areas from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am. Whilst it’s doubtful that this scheme would be axed altogether, we may find that if electric vehicles come to fruition then certain acceptances will be made. The scheme itself is to minimise any noise pollution that may disturb the public, a noteworthy concern, but as electric vehicles are much quieter, we could expect a change. What’s more, this will also decrease carbon emissions in certain circumstances as vehicles will be able to make the preferred, shorter routes within controlled hours.
Our current environment makes it almost impossible to have a clear idea of what the future will bring, but together as an industry, there is no reason that we may not overcome this challenge with a fresh and improved outlook.
Abbey, Content Producer, Forest Freight