Logistics services are an important element of a successful supply chain that helps to increase the sales and profits of businesses that deal with the production, shipment, warehousing and delivery of goods worldwide. A reliable logistics service can not only boost the economic strength of any business but also help to maintain a positive public image.
It is therefore imperative that this service is able to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible and that is hugely reliant on the improvement and maintenance of UK roads. In August, Highways England unveiled the details of plans for a £27.4 billion investment in the strategic road network across the country.
They promise to deliver £14 billion of projects improving the quality, capacity and safety of the motorways and major A roads that have helped keep the country going during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK’s road network is a vital part of everyone’s life. It continues to serve the country well during the ongoing pandemic, keeping supermarket shelves stocked and enabling key workers to get where they need to be.
However, operations can only continue to run smoothly if proper funds are injected into the maintenance and improvement of this country’s roads. Over the next five years, Highways England plan to increase capacity where it is most needed and continue to upgrade more of the network which has suffered from decades of under-investment.
Improved roads could mean an easier drive for many hauliers. Less instances of acceleration and deceleration due to the lack of potholes, narrow roads and maintenance vehicles will mean a decrease in the level of fuel consumed during transport. If routes were more efficient or roads were improved, vehicles would produce less emissions. Not only would this lead to cheaper overall costs in terms of fuel but it would also contribute to the management of future environmental damage.
Further improvements will lead to a decreased need for maintenance on vehicles. Many roads have cracks that are just waiting to turn into dangerous potholes that could potentially cause collisions. Local roads where hauliers make their last-mile deliveries are often in an even worse state and the damage to HGVs – in particular, to their suspension systems – can have quite an impact. Resurfacing those roads would incur less damage to hauliers and other road users.
More potholes mean more breakdowns, more roadworks and more delays. These delays for a ‘just-in-time’ industry can be disastrous. Faster travel times with less obstacles and more efficient routes would make journeys faster and more reliable for haulage companies across the UK.
The FTA reports that improving the country’s roads is the most important thing politicians can do to support an efficient logistics industry. Implementing seamless logistics is a key element in keeping pace with consumer demands and outperforming competitors. In 2018, over 193 billion tonne kilometres of domestic freight was moved within the UK, of which 79% was transported by road. If these transport routes are not kept in tip-top shape, these figures will only decrease.
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