It’s no secret that Britain’s general public have always been reliant on commercial vehicles to perform many vital roles and deliver many essential services to society. But these roles and services have been rapidly expanding in recent years – with our dependence on commercial vehicles increasing as a result. Recent research by the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders has revealed exactly how much modern Britain depends on commercial vehicles like the refrigerated vans and freezer vans we stock here at CoolKit. In short – they’re more essential than ever!
Everyone likes a bit of recognition for their own industry, so the results of the survey itself are likely a source of welcome news for those in the commercial vehicle sector. The vast majority of respondents (88%) said that reduced or restricted services from commercial vehicles would affect their quality of life, and in fact, almost half (46%) recognised that they had benefitted from such services as recently as the last 24 hours.
Part of this recognition stems from the rapid growth of online purchasing – not just globally, but especially here in the UK. Today, Britain represents the biggest online retail sector in the European Union, with around £67.3 billion worth of goods and services being purchased by UK customers in 2017 alone. It sounds like an incredible number, but trust us, it’s accurate! With all that in mind, it’s no wonder that a third of the study’s respondents specifically said that significantly increased waits for public deliveries – for example, home deliveries on food shopping via fridge vans – would notably affect their quality of life.
As well as examining our dependence on commercial vehicles at an individual level, the results of the survey also recognise the contribution of the commercial vehicle industry to the UK’s economy. All told, utility and delivery vans and heavy goods vehicles all move three times more goods than water and rail combined, contributing more than £27 billion to the UK economy.
So what are they moving? Well, from medicines and foods to flowers and pharmaceuticals, some 1.9 billion tonnes of goods are transported across the UK every year by commercial vehicles like fridge and freezer vans. This includes 326 million tonnes of food alone, many of which have very specific temperature requirements. Though items like canned or boxed goods often allow for a lot of flexibility, more sensitive foodstuffs like meat or dairy products must be kept in tightly controlled temperature ranges to ensure they reach their destination while remaining fit for human consumption.
We’re proud to be a part of this vital lifeblood of British industry here at CoolKit. The SMMT survey is the latest public study to highlight the crucial role that the UK’s five million goods and service vehicles play in driving our society and economy, many of them working within the specific sectors we serve here at CoolKit. We take care to maintain an expansive and versatile stock of refrigerated vehicles, and our customers include large and small businesses alike, from sole traders to bigger supermarkets and specialist suppliers.
For example, increasingly at this time of year, our freezer vans and box body vehicles are purchased by ice cream vendors and suppliers (perfect for providing the deep freeze temperatures that ice cream requires), while our refrigerated vehicles are ideal for supermarkets looking to transport meat, fish, dairy and poultry.
What’s more, our expert engineers are continuing their focus on adapting our vehicles to the demanding requirements of the pharmaceutical markets – another often-underestimated element of the British freight industry. Our PharmaVan II is the latest example of their brilliant work, drawing acclaim for its ability to distributed pharmaceutical and healthcare products and services to pharmacies and hospitals.
You can read more about the PharmaVan II in our recent case study, or explore our full range of freezer vehicles and fridge vehicles on our website.