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2020 has already been a year that has challenged many businesses, including those in the haulage space. It doesn’t seem that a month has gone by without some sort of major news which is likely to continue impacting business operations going into the rest of this year. 

 

In this article, we explore 4 of the biggest challenges likely to face the Scottish hauling industry in 2020. We will also cover how some of these challenges are likely to provide opportunities in the haulage space in coming months.

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Covid-19

 

The media frenzy around covid-19 is impossible to ignore. With the government rolling out measures across the UK, all businesses and industries are likely to be impacted in some way over the coming months. 

 

There is every possibility that we will follow other countries, going into lockdown and the face physical threat of many individuals becoming ill and quarantined. Due to this, we may see some serious challenges for haulage businesses lacking the physical labour they require such as drivers and warehouse staff. 

 

However, the same situation will also provide some major opportunities for the Scottish haulage industry. There are already reports that eCommerce stores are seeing a sharp rise in sales as shoppers are opting to stay at home and shop online. If this continues, there will be a rise in demand in certain supply chains. 

 

This is especially true in Scotland where the covid-19 virus may further isolate people in the outer edges of the country, further relying on transportation and haulage to feed demand. 

 

Environmental

 

Around the end of 2019 and moving into this year we saw large scale public unrest around the state of our environment and the impact we have on it. This social pressure paired with government intervention is likely to cause many changes in the haulage and transportation space in 2020. 

 

The UK government have set a target to be net-zero emissions by 2045 and deliver a 75 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). Transport and haulage play a major part in current emissions targets and no doubt the government will seek ways to lower the volume and increase the efficiency of vehicles across the board. 

 

Environmental factors may also continue to impact haulage in other areas. We have seen environmental issues across Scotland and Paisley this year with major flooding across Scotland’s central belt.

 

Technological Advances 

 

Advances in technology are always changing the way that industries function, haulage is certainly no exception. 

Many of these advances are focused on solving some of the environmental issues we covered in the last section. For example, Tesla has recently released the Tesla Semi, a truck that is incredibly environmentally friendly.

 

Other technologies like artificial intelligence are likely to be applied to increase efficiency across the haulage space. 

 

Brexit

 

Although Brexit has taken a back seat in the media at the moment, it will certainly have a huge impact on businesses in the coming years and months. 

 

In the short term, the UK government has highlighted how low-skilled workers from Europe will find it difficult to secure a visa in the UK. This may be an issue for supply chains that rely heavily on lower-cost labour. 

 

How Brexit will impact trade is yet to be seen, however, there will likely be measures in place that make it more difficult to import and export goods. This will be an issue for supply chains as a whole, but could also make sourcing crucial haulage equipment more difficult.

 

On the plus side, this may be beneficial for UK businesses that can supply this equipment. For example, businesses like UK based MHF who have hook loaders for sale could see an increase in competitiveness compared to previously cheaper imports. 

 

2020 is set to be a challenging year for all businesses in all industries. Those that operate in the haulage space are going to need to adapt to survive the potential challenges the next 12 months will bring. However, these challenges will also come with opportunities which could help smart haulage businesses thrive.