The next few weeks 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 commercial vehicle drivers will be responsible for keeping the nation supplied with everything it needs for the festive season.
But how will the drivers themselves be rewarded for all their hard work this year? According to the Freight Transport Association’s Quarterly Transport Activity Survey of FTA member companies for October 2010, most transport firms will be making an effort to give their drivers some sort of reward for their hard work this Christmas, despite the recession.
Dr Sharon Ryan, FTA’s Head of Research, said:
"Although large bonuses are unlikely to be on operators’ gift list this year, most will still make an effort to provide their drivers with something to show their appreciation for their hard work during the year, however small it might be. Top of the list of rewards on offer is a Christmas party, followed by a meal or Christmas gift box of some kind."
With 65 road freight operators in the UK going into liquidation in the third quarter of 2010 – down slightly from 72 in the same period in 2009 – times are still tough for transport firms. Around 23 per cent of respondents to FTA’s member survey have made redundancies in Q3 2010 and just over a quarter expect to make redundancies in the final quarter.
Respondents to the survey reported that there was an easing in the extent of growth for domestic road freight activity during Q3 2010, but that prospects are expected to improve in the final quarter in the run up to Christmas, exacerbated by the prospect of January’s VAT rise.
A bigger picture will be provided by FTA’s forthcoming Logistics Industry Survey 2010/11, an annual poll of members’ experiences and perceptions of the freight market and trading environment, which will provide an insight into current and future levels of logistics activity and highlight the vital contribution the industry makes to economic growth and society’s standard of living.
The findings of the Logistics Industry Survey will form a key part of FTA’s continuing Love Logistics campaign during 2011 to raise public awareness of the logistics industry’s vital role in everyday life. The results of the survey will be published in March next year.