Truckers see end to recession

BRITAIN'S road haulage sector is trucking its way out of recession according the first findings from a new monthly survey.

BRITAIN'S road haulage sector is trucking its way out of recession according the first findings from a new monthly survey.

And that is good news for the local economy in and around Ipswich, with the Port of Felixstowe - the UK's biggest container port - supporting one of the biggest clusters of road haulage businesses in the country.

The survey of 300 road transport operators across the UK, including nearly 40 in the East of England, was carried out by Commercial Motor magazine as part of project to track the extent of economic recovery in the sector.

Backed by the Road Haulage Association, tyre company Michelin and truck manufacturers DAF, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Trucks, Scania and Volvo, the survey will be repeated on a monthly basis over the next 12 months.

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Justin Stanton, editor of Commercial Motor, said: “No one doubts the bad times we're all experiencing will eventually come to an end. What's unclear is exactly when things will start to look a whole lot brighter.

“Our initial findings have painted a slightly more positive picture than might have been expected, with 28per cent of fleets already recovering from the recession. A further 23pc expect to in the next six months and just 16pc believe recovery is more than 12 months away.”

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The survey also found that although three out of five operators (61pc) had suffered a decline in revenue in the last quarter, compared with the same period last year, one in four (26pc) had seen an increase and 11pc had managed to maintain their revenue.

And while more than a third (36pc) said they had lost customers since the start of 2009, an encouraging 29pc said they had seen an increase.

Three quarters of all those surveyed (75pc) were optimistic about the prospects for their business over the next 12 months, and 90pc expressed confidence that their business would survive the recession.

And nearly half (48pc) predict they will emerge from recession with market share gains, while nearly two-thirds (65pc) expect to come out with improved operational efficiency.

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