The next ten days represent the busiest time of the road transport year as the industry delivers Christmas to shops, offices, pubs, restaurants and direct to homes. The country's 440,000 lorries and hundreds of thousands of vans will be stocking and replenishing the supplies and services on which the whole nation depends for the festive season.
The Freight Transport Association, which represents companies operating around half of the national fleet, says that business as usual this Christmas will mean that the 1.5 million people employed in transport and logistics will all be working hard to ensure prompt and reliable deliveries.
FTA's Director of External Affairs, Geoff Dossetter said, 'The public has a love/hate relationship with the lorry. On the one hand motorists do not always enjoy sharing the road with the lorry and see large vehicles as a potential threat. On the other hand everybody wants what the lorry is delivering. Everything that we use or consume in our daily life is the product of a lorry journey and, quite simply, we cannot live without the lorry.
'The efficiency of modern logistics is astonishing, with an incredible range of goods and services being delivered reliably and on-time by a hi-tech industry that is increasingly moving more goods, to more locations, and to more people.
'A major feature of this Christmas has been the numbers of home deliveries. The record online ordering traffic of last weekend is now converted to the on-the-road delivery traffic of this week, providing a level of service not dreamed of only a few years ago, and direct to home addresses.
'This weekend and the period through to Christmas will also see an intensity of supply to shops and supermarkets, ensuring the availability of food, drink and all of the essential and luxury items which contribute to Christmas.
'The road transport industry is the unsung hero of British business and this Christmas it will be delivering the goods in the same safe, reliable and efficient way as ever.'
The Freight Transport Association represents the interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight. FTA's website can be found at www.fta.co.uk