RHA 2024 UK Manifesto for the Haulage Trade

The Highway Haulage Affiliation (RHA) lately launched its 2024 UK manifesto, ‘Driving Development, delivering for the nation’. With a membership exceeding 8,500, representing round 250,000 HGVs, the RHA advocates for the haulage neighborhood’s pursuits in engagements with authorities our bodies. The manifesto highlights key themes and proposals for constructive change within the haulage business.

Key themes from the 2024 manifesto

The transport and haulage business had a troublesome 2023. While struggling by way of a cost-of-living disaster, with unprecedented gas price rises (second highest on file), most haulage operators coming away with a minimal 2% enterprise margin. With the haulage business already extraordinarily aggressive, these tight margins have proved an excessive amount of for a lot of.

What the RHA has recognized as key themes that want addressing

Tackling Prices and Navigating Rules

The associated fee-of-living disaster and better operational bills for haulage operators have contributed in direction of meals and items costs to extend. A ten% rise in operating prices, coupled with a simultaneous 10% decline in freight quantity, has little doubt had an affect on the record-breaking collapse of 450 haulage operators prior to now yr, underscoring the business’s monetary challenges.

The closely regulated nationwide highway freight business can be witnessing operators grappling with compliance measures, resulting in monetary hardships and in the end some enterprise closures.

The RHA recommends

  • Freezing taxes, together with gas obligation, HGV levies, and varied enterprise taxes, alleviate a number of the monetary burden.
  • The introduction of incentives reminiscent of rebates to encourage the usage of carbon-reduced fuels, helps the business’s transition in direction of Internet-Zero.
  • A complete evaluation of transport laws is proposed to modernise and guarantee equity for operators and their drivers.

How might Transport Administration Software program assist companies with these points?

Utilizing business tech, operators are in a position to collaborate with different operators by way of pallet networks, freight trade platforms, and job sharing amongst comparable Transport Administration System (TMS) customers reminiscent of Mandata. By utilizing a TMS, planners can determine useless miles, and subsequently scale back empty operating throughout the fleet, while additionally monitoring compliance metrics, serving to to avoid wasting operational prices.

On the Highway to Sustainable Highway Haulage

The RHA reaffirms that it unequivocally helps the Internet Zero marketing campaign – citing that an estimated 20% of CO2 emissions by UK home transport every year. They do stress nevertheless {that a} fast turnaround for operators to go Internet Zero, and with only one% of the over 600,000 HGVs registered within the UK at the moment operating on zero-emission gas varieties, hauliers are anticipating a large monetary outlay.

With the business already struggling financially, the RHA has estimated that the general prices for operators to maneuver from diesel vehicles to electrical ones would price a collective £100 billion-plus.

The RHA recommends

  • A evaluation of the insurance policies and roadmap to offer operators a transparent image of the timeline for the decarbonisation transition.
  • Higher steerage to be given on how the federal government will help operators, particularly with funding incentives.
  • Additional monetary help, particularly for SMEs, relating to the acquisition and operating prices of latest low-carbon and electrical autos, to facilitate the swap in accordance with given timelines.

How might Transport Administration Methods assist companies with these points?

While transport administration software program can’t change the gas volumes utilized in autos, it will possibly actually assist enhance a enterprise’s carbon footprint, if used the proper manner. TMS platforms may help hauliers to determine, after which scale back empty operating (or useless miles), to not solely scale back emissions but additionally save operating prices for the haulier.

Methods like a TMS may help customers take advantage of knowledgeable enterprise choices, together with these straight impacting emissions. Planners can see the estimated CO2 carbon emissions per job within the strategy planning stage, serving to operators to determine which jobs are contributing probably the most in direction of their emissions, and serving to to drive enterprise choices on learn how to scale back this.

Bridging the abilities hole

The UK is going through a important scarcity of drivers, exacerbated by the truth that solely 20% of Heavy Items Car (HGV) drivers are below 36 years outdated. This poses a critical menace to the business, with an ageing workforce and potential pressure on the occupation. The discount in general freight actions has masked this concern, however any financial progress might considerably harm provide chains.

Moreover, shortages of technicians and warehouse operators are being investigated, elevating issues about car upkeep and highway security. The upcoming adjustments to the motive force CPC coaching are an excellent step in the proper course for HGV drivers, however extra must be supplied.

The RHA recommends

  • Creating larger flexibility for the coaching of roles reminiscent of technicians and warehouse operators.
  • A larger deal with apprenticeship funding, as rising coaching program prices could have contributed to the drop in employment in these careers.
  • Encourage faculties and faculties to offer clear steerage in addition to encouragement for profession paths inside transport.

How can Transport Administration Software program assist

A sturdy TMS encompasses a lot of the work inside the transport workplace, together with communication between colleagues. To complement and enhance the information base of the prevailing workforce, TMS platforms, reminiscent of Mandata, present options that may embody coaching and compliance-related communication, which can assist subsidise a number of the information gaps till the recruitment points have been resolved.

It is also mentioned that customers of know-how reminiscent of a TMS, are extra engaging candidates for recruitment, as companies seeking to make use of new transport planners and warehouse operators with good information, expertise, and coaching of those platforms, permitting for doubtlessly faster and smoother transitions into new roles.


Securing a UK-wide, protected, safe and dependable highway community

Poor high quality relaxation stops and facilities for drivers within the UK have been a longstanding concern for the RHA. They advocate for elevated and honest funding to boost these amenities as a consequence of their subpar high quality and vital safety dangers. As a consequence of this security danger has detracted many from becoming a member of the business, particularly ladies seeking to be a part of the business, who make up only one% of HGV drivers within the UK. Motion must be taken to enhance inclusivity and variety throughout the business.

The urgency of the state of affairs is underscored by a major enhance of 1000 crimes on HGVs final yr, totalling over 5000 incidents.

The RHA recommends

  • Important funding within the Strategic Highway Community (SRN) to cut back bottlenecks and congestion, making certain dependable haulier journeys.
  • Reform the Nationally Important Infrastructure Tasks (NSIP) to expedite freeway schemes and junction enhancements and revamp The Nationwide Planning Coverage Framework to emphasize the financial significance of truck parking, decreasing refusals for brand spanking new websites.
  • Future infrastructure initiatives should assess the necessity for lorry parking, contemplating repurposing choices post-construction.


Total, the RHA has raised quite a few important factors and proposals on how the problems which have clouded the business over the previous few years may very well be averted by way of authorities intervention and collaboration throughout the business.

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