[Photo Courtesy of Willtron]
You will find much in the media in recent days about Bulgarian and Romanian workers arriving in the UK after their temporary labour restictions were lifted. Much of that commentary is centered around the potential economic effect and what it all means. Here’s our take on it.
Evidence from license plates:
Fortunately in our industry the changes are perhaps easier to witness and predictions can be made with comparative ease. License plates are a good barometer for predicting changes to the market in which we operate - we can clearly observe those changes every time we get on the road!
Will the new regulations threaten British jobs and British business?
As highlighted in this great article, changes are hard to predict, but what is clear is that countries such as France and Germany will probably be greater effected. The unpredictable economic conditions create some interesting dynamics and nuisances, specifically the registrations of trucks in Romania by some of Europe’s biggest operators (Norbert Destrassangle to name one). The true picture is that it’s not just small Bulgarian operators who could benefit from these new rules (and compete with British business) but global logistics companies as well.
How can we respond to this competition?
In this context, rather then focusing our energies on worrying about increased competition brought about by lower overheads, poorly maintained vehicles, and cheaper labour, we in the UK should concentrate on the things we can control. Our strengths include superior service, punctuality, safe and conscientious transportation and efficiency. Innovations such as GPS tracking have changed the industry enabling us to out compete on other things then simply price.
It's not all doom and gloom, and we must strive for further innovations if we're to overcome this next challenge. You can find out about some of our own innovations here. There is of course the Eco-Link - our proudest example of innovation.