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Brexit consequences for Irish hauliers: insights from 2019 Transport Manager

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 12, 2019 9:01:00 AM

Brexit consequences for Irish hauliers insights from 2019 Transport Manager

With the clock ticking remorsefully toward the 29th of March, experts start to figure out the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for the transport and logistics sector in both the UK and Ireland and also the remaining EU member states. The pressing concerns of the eventual withdrawal have prompted intense discussions, and hypotheses have been proffered by experts as to the possible areas of pain for the transport and logistics sector in the forthcoming weeks.

Looking at it from the Irish point of view, the most recent Transport Manager event held on March 5th of last year and traditionally organised by the FTAI in Enfield was dominated by Brexit. After greeting various operators, the FTAI general manager, Aidan Flynn, began the event by advising them to keep planning for a no-deal eventuality, to work with their peers and customers and enhance collaborative relationships, as there are still so many unknowns and unpredictable outcomes.

Two main concerns, as the deadline looms ever closer, are the possible delays and the possible consequences deriving from them, such as road blockages or tailbacks. When it comes to border delays under the current arrangement, transporting goods is relatively straightforward, but once Brexit kicks in, deliveries that were taking from one to three days could take from four to five. According to data shared by the FTAI, custom documents could soar from the current average of 1.7 million per year to the astounding figure of 20 million. Revenue officers might not be in significant force during the first few weeks following the 29th, and it will be very difficult for those in the haulage industry to be ready and compliant with this aspect. Helen McEntee TD., Minister for EU Affairs, who intervened at the event, offered some comforting words to assure operators that the Irish Government is working around the clock in preparation of the consequences and ensuring that the relevant information is readily available.

With regards to possible delays, Flynn has also called upon the government to provide more details of plans for facilities and parking that might serve drivers caught up in tailbacks generated by Brexit and argued that, because the UK is a distribution centre for food and retail in Ireland, if checks are reinforced in anticipation of the ‘third country’ border arrangements that will inevitably happen between Ireland and the UK, there will be serious difficulties and congestion. There is no rapid solution.

Meanwhile, in the UK new research published last week has suggested that the UK’s logistic sector itself will suffer a £6.7 billion reduction in economic output (around 7.8 billion euros).

 

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Van/LCV market in 2019: what is the current status?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 7, 2019 9:05:00 AM

Van/LCV market in 2019: what is the current status

The light commercial vehicle market had its ups and downs in 2018, especially towards the end of the year: during some months sales rose, while in others they fell, which led the used LCV market to enjoy great success.

Regarding the UK market, the fluctuating trend can be attributed to a number of reasons: the uncertainty as to whether there will be a no-deal Brexit is affecting the confidence of buyers, the introduction of the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) for light commercial vehicles in 2019 is another, and the introduction of Ultra-low emission zone and clean air zones throughout UK is also a factor.

The LCV market in Ireland followed a similar trend in 2018, with positive sales in some months and negative in others, compared with the previous year. According to the official statistics of the Irish Motor Industry, the months of September, November and December registered a decrease in new LCV registrations of 12.53%, 1.72% and 9.72% respectively.

So how has the LCV market performed during the first months of 2019 in Ireland and the UK?

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the new van market in the UK has seen an 8.6% uptick in January 2019 based on figures released in mid-February. More than 22,000 new vans and pickups were introduced to UK roads in the first month of the year, an increase of 1,761 compared with January 2018. The positive result was not a complete surprise as something of a bounce-back was half expected after such a poor sales performance in the previous month of December.

In Ireland, according to numbers made public by the IMS, LCV registrations in January totalled 5,647, a decrease of 16.38% when compared to January 2018 (6,753).

According to Mike Hawes, the chief executive of SMMT, so long as the post-Brexit future remains uncertain, we should expect trends to fluctuate over the coming months as the EU negotiations pan out and the UK parliament votes on the various proposals. Political and economic stability is generally necessary for businesses to invest in new vehicles, and a big part of this stability resides in the ability of the UK government and the EU to formulate a deal before the Brexit deadline.

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Topics: News, Stats & Facts

Brexit for transport, logistics and hauliers: what does the future hold?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Feb 5, 2019 9:03:00 AM

Brexit for transport, logistics and hauliers what does the future hold

With the clock ticking inexorably toward the March 29 deadline, the question everywhere seems to concern the future of the UK and Europe with regards to Brexit. Almost two years have passed since the June 2016 referendum in which 16,788,672 leave votes secured a small majority and technically cleared the way for the UK to leave the European Union, but since then the actual outcome is anything but clear.

The possibility of a no-deal Brexit seems at the time of writing the most likely outcome as the UK and the EU have so far been unable to reach an agreement, and everyone is starting to imagine some of the possible post-Brexit scenarios as the eleventh hour approaches. What would be the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for the transport, logistics and hauliers sector?

Back in the beginning of January, some influential transport and logistics trade associations such as the FTA and the FTAI have urged companies and hauliers to start preparing for the no-deal eventuality. The FTAI in particular has advised hauliers to take immediate action and advance their preparations, or expect delays, red tape and costs after March 29.

The General Manager of FTAI, Aidan Flynn, has stated that "Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations—deal or no deal—it will have a seismic impact on the UK's trading environment and in turn, the freight distribution and logistics sector on both sides of the Irish Sea. By leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market, the UK will trigger notable friction in the supply chain. There will inevitably be multi-agency checks at ports and the administrative burden placed on the logistics industry—particularly road haulage—will hinder business development and, in some cases, cripple the small to medium enterprise sector.”

If a no-deal Brexit is reached, the island of Ireland will be particularly impacted by the reinstatement of a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland—the Irish land border would become a frontier of the EU and there would be pressure to enforce similar customs and immigration controls to those that exist between the EU and any non-EU country.

Trade and immigration are two other major influences on the transport and logistics sectors. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK would have to revert to World Trade Organisation rules on trade; it wouldn’t be bound by EU rules but would be subject to the EU’s external tariffs. The price of goods in shops for Britons could rise sharply as businesses would have to have to pass on the cost of tariffs on goods imported from the EU. With regards to free movement, the UK would be free to set its own controls on immigration from EU countries. However, the EU could respond in kind for Britons and this could lead to delays at borders not only for expats but the situation for workers in the logistics and transport sector is also unclear.

The Loadstar, an online news resource for the logistics industry, makes two uncomfortable observations on what could happen after a no-deal Brexit: the time EU trucks spend in the UK on average is 1.9 days; a timescale that would inevitably change in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This could force hauliers to look for business opportunities outside of the UK when it becomes a much less efficient, more expensive and time-consuming country with which to trade. Another potential problem, is the massive presence of EU vehicles on the Dover-Calais route—it has been estimated that 85% of the trucks there are from the EU, posing considerable logistical challenges for both exporters and importers.

The anxiety concerning potentially huge delays at the border has already been considered by many businesses, but let’s focus on the healthcare sector for a moment: in the news just a few days ago, was a pharmaceutical company that saw fit to stockpile vital emergency equipment as the more stringent custom checks possible after a no-deal Brexit could potentially delay the delivery to patients in emergency situations. The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has admitted that getting logistics right is crucial to guaranteeing the flow of medical supplies.

 



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Topics: Fleet Costs, Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts, transport and logistics

Fleet Year End Budget: what are the trends?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM

  Fleet Year End Budget: what are the trends?

‘Tis the season to be jolly’—but also to be busy! At this time of the year you should typically be some way into next year’s planning—you’d be a little on the late side if you haven’t started already. We know everyone is extremely busy as this time of the year, but in order for a business to plan ahead for 2019, they should be sure to make the most out of what is left of the 2018 budget.

If you are like the majority of businesses operating fleets, you will probably have some leftovers in the budget that are subject to the old ‘use it or lose it’ rule. But what happens for lots of companies is that they either do not have time (or feel they do not have time) to decide on an intelligent spend for this, or they just squander it on irrelevancies, just for the sake of not losing it. If you are among those who, luckily enough, can decide what to do with the leftovers after your holidays and it is available through to 2019, you can weigh up your best investment options and get ready for the final toasts. But if not using that budget means having a lower budget for 2019, then you might be urged to spend.

First of all, how have you been able to establish how much is left of your fleet management budget? Like in every other sector, the idea is that everything applying to the expenses of your fleet is tracked carefully and all items accounted for when calculating your remaining budget. If you are still using multiple systems to get your fleet expenses on a digital file, chances are that your estimate is inaccurate and you might actually waste budget that you don’t have or either cannot take advantage of what is left for the year. Are you sure that you or your organisation is actually keeping track of all the factors that make up the fleet spend and that your budget estimate is accurate?

If the answer is ‘no’, you should definitely consider the acquisition of a system able to record all of your expenses in order to get a realistic view of how much you can potentially spend or how much you should keep on saving. Even better if that same system is able to offer other options at the same time, such as a complete maintenance module or other tools able to make your office paperless. With time, you should not only be able to check out on remaining budget, but also to have a realistic forecast on next year’s spending, a regular review of your spend which will allow you to set your fleet strategy in a more intelligent way.

If you already have a system able to do so, maybe you can check out what the next trend is: dashcams have started to become more and more important for both drivers and fleets, and insurance companies have started to offer discounts to those interested in this product. If you need more information, make sure to let us know: we have quite a few ideas to make your season jolly and your budget spend wiser!

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts, fleet management technology

Compulsory dashcams: UK government plans and the opinion of drivers

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Compulsory dashcams UK government plans and the opinion of drivers

The focus on dashboard cameras continues to be important after an insurance company has announced that discounts will be offered in Ireland on a regular basis to customers wishing to combine a dashboard camera with their insurance policy.

According to a recent survey carried out by GoCompare, drivers actually welcome the use of dashboard cameras, which have proved to be a great tool for fleet and driver safety, as they can assist with monitoring driving style and help staff to become safer drivers, but can also be crucial in the event of a collision by providing video evidence.

The GoCompare survey discovered that around a third of the drivers interviewed claimed dashboard cameras should be fitted as a compulsory item in the cars and vehicles of the future. This fraction of the interviewed, corresponding to 32%, complements the 48% who claimed to be happy to have dashcams installed on board. There seems to be quite a high consensus when it comes to dashcams use as only 8% claimed they would not like to have a dashcam installed. The main concerns for this minority appear to be with the potential for distraction and the perception that the installation would be a hassle.

At the same time, news has been published according to which a new two-year action plan from the UK’s Department of Transport has been released in order to encourage the elimination of dangerous driving and road rage and to stimulate cooperation between the different road users. The attempt is also aimed at reducing traffic and improving air quality.

The plan of action will hopefully minimise dangerous parking and promote respectful driving when interacting with cyclists as well; but these are not the only points, as it seems the police force will be able to count on a new back office that will provide an opportunity to analyse video evidence (dashcam footage included) submitted by the public.

The objective is to bring about a general improvement in road safety and protect users that are more at risk such as cyclists or pedestrians.

 

Photo Credit: By Fernost - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29835936

 

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The safety and compliance of drivers in the gig economy era

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 15, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The safety and compliance of drivers in the gig economy era

We are always talking about safety and how to deal with it—how to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the potential risks surrounding fleets and drivers—as something essential. It is undoubtedly never an easy task  (well, maybe  for some companies more than others), but in some instances this is not just down to the fact that companies do not know how to approach this vital requirement, it is because responsibilities don’t always seems to be a hundred percent clear.

When we think about this for a moment, we might take a closer look at the ‘grey fleet’ sector to illustrate the point: despite vehicles not being actually owned by the company, they still fall under its purview, at least during the hours in service of that particular company (they might be privately owned as acquired through a particular employee scheme, for example). But what happens to those drivers who work in the so-called ‘gig economy’?

We assume you are not new to this term. If you are unsure, it basically means that drivers who work in the gig economy do not get a fixed salary but are rather paid for each completed ‘gig’, which in this case is a single ride, often assigned via an app. Gig economy driving has been the subject of ongoing controversy since the companies who provide the platform which makes the jobs available for workers (usually a smartphone app), are claiming this type of work simply provides the means for drivers to choose their own working hours. On the other hand, drivers are not strictly hired and it is claimed by these companies that they are in fact self-employed and the app simply provides a service for them to obtain work, hence why the health and safety responsibilities have become harder to pin down.

During the 8th annual conference on work related road safety, organised by the ETSC (European Transport Safety Council), Ms. Heather Ward from London’s UCL Centre of Transport Studies presented this as an important topic for the audience to consider: an evolving commercial scenario whereby safety training is distinctly lacking and responsibilities are opaque due to this particularly new type of working arrangement facilitated by the development of smartphone apps.

The UCL work team interviewed drivers and launched an online survey for those working in the gig economy and it emerged that those drivers had no risk training, are not given safety vests and can experience particularly intense pressures during peak times.

Another issue revealed the lack of time tracking for those working for more than one of these companies at a time, so potentially it is possible for those drivers to work for 12 hours without a break and do it for 2-3 weeks continuously. Some drivers claimed that having to use the app in order to get jobs while on the road was a source of distraction for them (since they need to keep their phone on in order to get these gigs) or that they have felt forced to speed or to park in areas where it is not allowed to make their deliveries.

The first set of data was officially published in an article by the tech section of the BBC at the end of August, where Ms. Ward and Ms. Christie, both involved in the research work, made a call for the government to regulate transport and impose stricter safety management in these cases.

 

 

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Topics: Road Safety, News, Stats & Facts

Coventry bus crash might push authorities to make telematics legally compulsory

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 8, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Coventry bus crash might push authorities to make telematics legally compulsory

A fatal bus crash dating back to October 2015 which took place in Coventry city centre may push authorities into making a decision as to whether fleet telematics should become compulsory, at least for public service fleets and HGVs, according to the legal firm Stephenson’s.

Last month, the Birmingham Crown Court established that dangerous driving was the factual cause of the fatal collision which involved a bus from the company Midland Red South, a subsidiary of Stagecoach, which crashed into a local Sainsbury supermarket. From the investigations carried out, it seems the driver mistook his accelerator for the brake, initiating the collision which resulted in the death of a passenger who was travelling on the upper deck and a pedestrian.

According to a reconstruction of the event, it turned out that the driver in question had been warned on multiple occasions by the same companies via letters highlighting his risky behaviour and poor driving; and this was down to the fact that all buses were fitted with telematics equipment and could therefore disclose this kind of information. A total of eight warning letters had been sent to the driver, but no further action was taken by his company. It has been revealed that the same driver had already been involved in four other incidents during the period 2011 to 2014.

Apparently, he had retired at the age of 65 but was again hired by the company as a casual driver at the age of 77. Furthermore, it is alleged that the driver, Kailash Chander, had been working for a total of 75 hours per week in the three weeks leading up the fatal crash; something that is actually legal according to GB Domestic Rules, but probably not appropriate for a person of his age. Chander was also diagnosed with dementia at an early stage after the crash.

As the driver was judged mentally unfit to attend the trial, Stagecoach pleaded guilty to the charge relating to the Health and Safety at Work Act in September 2017 and will be sentenced on November 26th. According to public opinion, it is incredible that Stagecoach continued to allow this particular driver to work despite his age and the stark fact that his unsafe driving practices were detected by the telematics system. In this particular case, the operator has been prosecuted for not maintaining safety despite the tracking system revealing driver behaviour issues.

This might be an example of how telematics itself definitely helps with the implementation of a risk assessment program, but it is completely pointless if companies do not act fully upon the data they receive from vehicles and act before it is too late. Operators should use data in a proactive way, especially when they are repeatedly informed of a driver who is particularly at risk, as was the case in this instance. Traffic commissioners and transport organisations still do not consider telematics a compulsory feature of fleet operation, but similar accidents in the future may actually prompt governments to make it so.

 

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Topics: GPS & Tracking, News, Stats & Facts

Transpoco partners with Timing Ireland for the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Transpoco partners with Timing Ireland for the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon

The SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon has become a yearly appointment and 2018 has not been an exception. 20,000 participants ran last Sunday during the 39th edition of the event, which has become a yearly fixture for Transpoco and Timing Ireland too.

Transpoco’s technology, regularly used by companies to track their vehicles and run them safely and efficiently, has on this occasion been used to track the runners who took part in the Dublin Marathon event. As usual, with the invaluable help of Timing Ireland, the API data provided by the GPS tracking software has been converted into the on track position of the participants, displayed on special screens to make it easier for everyone to follow the competition.

Transpoco partners with Timing Ireland for the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon_2

It is not the first time that Transpoco has successfully been involved in similar events. The company provided GPS tracking technology during a past Dún Laoghaire running event and at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon 2017.

If you want to learn how the benefits of the GPS tracking technology can help you in better running your vehicles, contact us. You can also sign up for a free trial and start getting all its advantages for free!

 

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Topics: GPS & Tracking, News, Stats & Facts

Fleet vehicle ownership vs fleet vehicle usage: what will the future bring us?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Fleet vehicle ownership vs fleet vehicle usage what will the future bring us

While global vehicle traffic has reached a record high of 254.4 billion miles in 2017, with van and cars recording the highest increase and coaches and buses seeing the largest decrease, it seems in any case a statistic we won’t see again for some time. With regards to the future patterns of traffic and transportation, experts predict that the stress will be put on vehicle usage rather than ownership, with a consequent shift to mobility solutions consumed as services (MaaS), where the key concept is to offer mobility solutions tailored for the travelling needs, both of businesses and end users.

The rise in technology of self-driving vehicles is responsible for this disruption of the system, where we will be (fleets included) supposed to choose options involving autonomous cars or even ride hailing services) instead of traditionally using a vehicle from a starting point to reach a destination. But this is probably not the only factor influencing the change in trend.

According to insights shared from KPMG’s Mobility 2030, the number applying for a driving licence among those aged between 17 and 20 has fallen from 50% to 33% in the UK (data confirmed by the Department of Transport) and vehicle ownership will gradually lose its importance in favour of passenger miles.

Overall, vehicle ownership has obviously grown dramatically over the past decades as very few users could have access to vehicles in 1950s, while during the last years the percentage of those accessing vehicles has plateaued at around 77% in 2016. But with the technological innovations we are starting to experience now, the shift is likely to be on finding alternatives to vehicle ownership, though not everything is supposed to be based on simple car sharing or similar for everyone. Vehicles will still be key in mobility, but maybe your fleet will not necessarily own them.

What has also become part of the trend lately is that the vehicle, for both end users and professional drivers, has an initial status of indicating freedom of movement, though the attention has actually shifted on the need for companies and users to keep vehicles roadworthy and to drive safely to avoid collisions which seems somehow less “appealing” for those who drive for pleasure, but is at the same time necessary for those who hit the road for work—hence the development of safe driving technologies or the struggle towards innovation such as autonomous vehicles, which in an ideal and future world should guarantee safety and eliminate vehicle accidents.

What do you think will be the scenarios for fleets, and will they no longer be owning vehicles?

 

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Topics: News, Stats & Facts, self-driving vehicles, autonomous vehicles

Why the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 has lots in common with fleet management

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Why the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 has lots in common with fleet management

What is considered probably the greatest international sporting event, other than the Olympics, is now well underway and already reaching fever pitch. In almost every corner of the world fans are following the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 event, supporting their country (if they are still in it) or their favourite team, and getting increasingly anxious to see them progress to the final.

 

And what about you? Are you the type of football enthusiast who likes to operate with the match commentary on the radio constantly in the background, or are you not overly worried and too busy with your fleet? What about your staff and drivers? The next few paragraphs very much involve you whether you are a football fan or not and actually outline a lot of points in common with the fleet management profession and with running vehicles in general. You will be surprised how much you can relate to this event, and these points might also be a good team building activity for your drivers. Let’s begin!

 

#1 - Distracted driving is definitely an issue and collision avoidance systems are very much under discussion. We are not talking about your drivers listening to matches while driving (hopefully they are not doing anything as foolish as using tablets or phones behind the wheel to check the results—you’d better have a policy regulating that kind of behaviour if you suspect this might be happening) or using in-vehicle technologies, but this is more to do with something that happened at the very beginning of the event reported by Fleet Europe: just ahead of the World Cup games on Sunday, June 17, a taxi-driver in Moscow accelerated onto the sidewalk and ran over several pedestrians before hitting a traffic sign, something that would have probably been avoided with the use of specific safety systems. The taxi driver has been detained by police and the case is being investigated and has sparked widening discussions on the adoption of emergency brake systems and similar safety devices.

 

#2 - The World Cup has its own fleet: organising such a huge event requires fast transportation of media officers, players, officials throughout the whole tournament and vehicles need to be readily available to facilitate the logistics. This year, vehicle manufacturer Kia Motors has provided 424 vehicles to assist operations at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup. Kia Motors has been FIFA’s Official Partner since 2007.

Why the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 has lots in common with fleet management_2
Photo Credit: http://www.thedrive.com/news/21262/kia-provides-424-vehicles-for-official-use-at-2018-fifa-world-cup-russia

 

#3 - FIFA is making growing use of GPS and tracking technologies. Yes, if you are a football supporter you will probably know this already—GPS technology has been fully recognized as a method of location tracking in football. Both on and off the pitch, this World Cup is seeing technology playing a bigger role than ever. Consider not only the goal-line technology, already in use for some time, but also the use of ‘wearables’ that generate player positional data and metrics for tactical analysis—just some of the latest technologies making news. GPS-based wearables are worn by players and record the data of hundreds of events per second—from player position, to distance covered, to speed and number of accelerations, heart rate, to kick accuracy and even the impact from tackles. By running this data on a special analysis platform, coaches can plan team strategies, substitutions, design physical workouts sessions and suchlike, according to the demands of each player’s position. Doesn’t this all sound familiar to you? In this video you will see how this is put into practice:

 


#4 - Metrics and technology are an invaluable help to managing teams.
Exactly like it happens for fleets, technology is making life much easier, helping to eliminate mistakes and improving performance. VAR (Video Assistance Referee), GLT (Goal Line Technology) and EPTS (Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems) are key innovations today just like vehicle tracking, dashboard cameras and fleet management solutions are for your daily activity. This is how the teams can take advantage of metrics to improve their collective performance:

 

If you wish to do the same for your fleet, don’t hesitate to let us know!

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts, fleet management technology

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