A sector frustrated by challenges

Whilst the recent decline in oil prices has helped many smaller transport providers, a significant element of larger businesses have received limited benefit due to the effect of fuel escalators.

Further sector pressures include: difficulties in achieving growth which efficiently supports existing trunking matrices, increases in staffing costs (following pensions reforms and auto enrolment) and the chronic shortage of qualified drivers with some industry bodies calling for government support.

Margins are becoming tighter, over-supply in some sectors (most notably shipping) from growing international competition, the possibilities of road charging and the growing influence of freight forwarders are all causing additional concern.

Despite these concerns, growth continues to be forecast in line with wider economic trends, albeit at lower levels.

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