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Road haulage just keeps getting better, says RHA

Road Haulage Association

2 min read Partner content

Road haulage is a key service industry for the UK economy, keeping businesses competitive and ensuring that shops have food and goods to sell. Every year, the industry keeps improving and 2015 was its best year ever, according to the Road Haulage Association.

The latest statistics from the Department for Transport give clear evidence of the improvement. As the UK economy grew through 2015, lorries did much more work in response to increased demand from customers – but more productively.

Goods moved – the DfT’s measure of road haulage activity – rose by 12% to 152 billion tonne kilometres – but the distance travelled by lorries increased by only 9%, to 18.4 billion kilometres.

“This is a great performance by a big, diverse industry – and the reasons are dynamism and innovation,” says RHA director of policy Jack Semple.

Innovation in equipment: for example more high capacity trailers – both double-decked; and longer trailers under the Department for Transport’s trial of trailers of up to 15.65 metres (compared with a standard maximum of 13.6 metres).

Innovation in operation: with greater collaboration among hauliers through pallet networks and other collaborations, and persuading customers to allow greater vehicle sharing.

Innovation in information technology: haulage is an IT-driven industry, not only for large firms but also smaller hauliers, allowing more efficient routeing and scheduling.

“The road haulage and logistics industry is constantly innovating, although that is often overlooked. Large lorries are not only the most productive vehicles on our road but the latest Euro VI trucks are also ultra-low emission, quiet, and have the most advanced safety systems on the road,” Jack Semple continued.

“All this has been achieved despite our roads being the busiest and most congested that they have ever been. The roads are the industry’s main place of work and we need to see the roads authorities matching the industry’s improvements, if the UK economy is going to flourish," he said. 

Latest stats can be found at


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