In the road freight sector, the Summer months are the slowest in terms of volume and demand. The reason for this is that truck availability is at its lowest due to driver’s holidays and the European driving bans.
The European driving bans dictate that from June through to September, some of the European countries enforce trucking constraints designed to restrict the usage of heavy goods vehicles on public roads during certain times of the day. Each country, including our own, has differing rules and regulations so there can never be a definitive start date, end date or for that matter time of the day when these restrictions are enforced.
Some countries prohibit heavy goods vehicles from driving on public roads for full days, others at certain times of certain days. This can make road haulage very difficult during these months and it is advised that you get the majority of your European bound cargo or even your European cargo that is destined for the UK done before the end of June before the driving bans come into force.
The price of shipping can be very costly if you wanted to deliver consignments during this time. For example, if you needed a truck in Italy to bring a full load back to UK, the Italians would additionally charge you for the export trip back as many factories close in the UK, meaning that they are unable to get a reload back home during the summer months – Due to the lack of trucks in the UK prices are at a premium and it can get very expensive to transport anything throughout the summer so please be aware of this.
Another contribution to the industry slowing during the summer months is the fact that the drivers in the sector take their summer holidays around this time. This means that not only does the industry struggle with a lack of transportation, but the lack of people to drive these forms of transport is also a major problem.
To combat this however, innovative techniques like freight exchange and the use of longer/heavier vehicles (LHVs) allows companies to haul a heavier, larger load per vehicle driver and, where possible, ensure that the return loads are also full. Not only does this mean that the overall wages of drivers is decreased due to lesser numbers but there a larger capacities of freight per vehicle meaning that less vehicles are on the roads which equates to a reduction in fuel costs per haul and minimises CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases.
So all in all, although the summer months can be difficult to transport goods in and around Europe, haulage companies are doing their utmost to ensure that as much as possible is being done to reduce the cost for the customer and are offering innovative techniques to optimise performance to ensure that should the cost of shipping be increased, the quality is never sacrificed.
At First European we know the ins and outs of the European summer driving bans. Give us a call to find out how the bans may affect your own cargo haulage or simply fill in the quote form for a quick and simple email quotation.