Truckers are the Unsung Heroes of the Business World

Paying Tribute to The Men and Women Behind the Wheel of Commerce

The captains of industry who develop innovative products get all the plaudits. But it would all be for nothing without our transportation infrastructure.

The world is full of great innovators, who are credited with delivering products and services that have revolutionised our lives. Alan Sugar played a major role in bringing personal computing to the masses in the 1980s. Then at the turn of the millennium, Steve Jobs brought us the wonders of mobile technology and was largely responsible for the smartphone revolution.

Except that’s not entirely true. In Europe, and indeed across the globe, whether it is in the USA or the vastness of Australia, the economy really runs on wheels. Without road freight, these product innovations would never make it out of the warehouses and onto the shelves. Here, we take a look at the important role of the men and women who keep the economy rolling across the motorways, autoroutes and highways.

European road freight continues to rise

The latest available figures show that in 2016, European road freight transport went up by 4.5 percent over the previous year. This was the highest it had been in five years, and is the clearest signal yet of a continuing slow but steady recovery in the overall European economy since the dip experienced in 2012.

More than half of the freight we see being transported on Europe’s roads is travelling long distance. Much of this can be explained by the immense growth seen in emerging markets such as Lithuania, Romania and Poland. UK freight companies are seeing increasing trade with these markets and are offering regular groupage services, at least once per week.

Are there alternatives?

There are always alternatives, but as far as European transportation goes, none of them are compelling. Air freight is fast but expensive, sea freight is slow and inefficient, and as for the trains – the European rail network is at breaking point, and has suffered from so many delays and failures over recent months that shippers have lost all confidence in it. The entire infrastructure needs a major overhaul that will take years.

Meanwhile, road freight is cost effective and at the same time offers speed, flexibility, and reliability. And that is thanks to the unique individuals behind the wheel who often spend weeks on the road keeping the European economy flowing.

What does the future hold?

Technology plays an important role in every part of our lives, and across every industry. The road freight sector is no different. Already, freight companies are using technology to help shippers and receivers track their cargo in real time every step of the way. If there is a delay due to traffic congestion in the middle of Belgium, they will know about it, and be briefed on the revised delivery time.

Going forward, this is an exciting time for the transport industry. Electric vehicles are certain to supersede diesel at some point in the coming years, while increased automation and smart safety technology, such as automatic braking will make the roads safer for everyone.

For those unsung heroes who literally deliver the conveniences of the modern age, that can only be good news.