Hauliers more optimistic about business prospects, finds FTA report
Hauliers feel more optimistic about their business prospects for this year, with many expecting to see an increase in volumes, according to a recent report by the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
International operators in particular feel more positive about business this year than last, the results of the association’s Logistics Industry Survey 2013/14 revealed.
The FTA claimed hauliers carrying out work overseas saw business increase in 2013, mainly due to growth in the manufacturing industry and an improved economic outlook. It is the most optimistic the sector has been since 2010.
Domestic road freight operators also reported that their level of business exceeded expectations last year. Many are also confident that volumes will improve this year, with 58% of operators surveyed expecting an increase in business.
The results of the survey, published in the association’s annual Logistics Report, also revealed that the greatest turnaround in expectations for 2014 came from operators in the construction sector, which the FTA believes is due to a boom in house building in 2013. Nearly half of construction operators surveyed expect to see growth in activity this year.
More operators invested in their HGV, van or trailer fleets last year than they had anticipated, the survey also found. The majority of respondents said they do not plan to invest significantly in their fleets in 2014, mainly due to the “stockpiling” of Euro-5 vehicles last year, resulting in sufficient capacity in their fleets this year.
A less-than 1% year-on-year increase in HGV operating costs also reflected the “relatively stable” price of fuel and the lack of fuel duty increases throughout 2013, the FTA added.
The survey took place in the final quarter of last year and the Logistics Report was compiled in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers.