The International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) recently released a plan to tackle driver shortages across Europe. However, recent conversations with transport operators suggest these plans lack what is required to recruit future talent.
European road freight operator Europa Road believes the answer lies in upskilling your team members and investing in your fleet, making long journeys more comfortable for drivers. This is why the company has invested £7m in its domestic fleet, upgrading its whole fleet in just 14 months.
Malcolm Castle, General Manager for Domestic Transport at the road division of Europa Worldwide Group, sheds some important light on the investment:
“According to a 2021 study, 55,000 HGV drivers left the industry. With tiring journeys and lengthy periods of time away from families, life on the road can be tough. Therefore, it’s important to be investing in our fleet, showing our drivers that they are valued and that we will go the extra mile to ensure they can do their job safely and comfortably.
“We have now replaced our entire fleet with top-spec Renault Trucks, which have power inverters, extra storage for personal items and innovative telematics software. As well as offering comfort, the technology offers our drivers guides for suitable conditions, real-time driver scoring metrics and a four-camera platform for better incident management.
“The Renault T models, and all other trucks in Europa Road’s fleet, also meet the stringent Euro 6 emissions standards to ensure their environmental impacts are kept to a minimum. We are committed to providing our drivers with the best vehicles on the market, and with these upgrades, we can continue to optimise driving conditions for everyone.”
Europa Road’s domestic fleet is located at its £30m state-of-the-art 1Hub in Dartford (the largest groupage hub of its type in the UK) and consists of 54 vehicles in total.
Within its domestic network, Europa is also investing in upskilling its team, offering regular training with ADR and ADR Awareness courses to further the education. Reinforcing its position as innovators in road freight solutions, the company is supporting a team member, formerly employed as a Class 1 driver through a Driver Assessor course, so that all driving assessment can be taken in-house.
“We believe that investing in your team is important for staying ahead of the skills gap and consider it crucial to our fleet’s success.”
Europa Worldwide Group is an ambitious independent logistics operator with three divisions, Europa Road, Europa Air & Sea, and Europa Warehouse, and has been featured in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for three years. Europa has invested £5m in its innovative market-leading service, Europa Flow, providing a frictionless flow of goods between the EU and the UK post Brexit. The group employs over 1,400 people with 29 international sites in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Europe, Hong Kong, China and the UAE. The global operator recently reported a record turnover of £302m for the last 12 months, as of August 2022, and remains on track with its ambitious investment programme.