Industry Round Up - 18th May 2024

Welcome to the newest article in Hireco’s latest series, our industry news round ups. We will focus on news from all around the industry including LCVs, HGVs, EVs and so much more.

Countdown to Driver CPC Reforms as September Deadline Approaches

With the surge in demand for Driver CPC training intensifying, the Department for Transport (DfT) has presented its proposed reforms to Parliament. These changes come in the wake of a consultation published late last year, aiming to address the needs of lorry drivers.

The timing is tight; the draft legislation was introduced just days before Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a general election in May. While the DfT hopes the new rules will take effect later this year, their implementation hinges on the priorities of the government that will be formed after the July 4th vote.

The proposed reforms stop short of abolishing the Driver CPC qualification, a move some advocated for post-Brexit. Instead, they have suggested a two-tier system;

  • Drivers who don’t need international certification could opt for a National Driver CPC (N-DCPC), which offers more flexible training options.
  • Those driving professionally abroad would continue with the current EU-compliant qualification, now called the International Driver CPC (I-DCPC).

If approved, the N-DCPC would allow training in shorter blocks of three and a half hours, unlike the seven-hour sessions required for the I-DCPC. Training providers could still offer longer courses if desired.

The reforms also aim to modernise training delivery. They propose increased flexibility for e-learning, allowing up to 12 hours of the required 35 hours of training to be completed online, whether at home or in the workplace. This is a significant change from the I-DCPC, which permits e-learning only as part of a longer, trainer-led course.

Additionally, drivers could combine I-DCPC and N-DCPC courses to meet the 35-hour training requirement for an N-DCPC, offering greater adaptability to meet diverse training needs.

As the September deadline looms, these reforms represent a significant shift in how driver qualifications are managed, aiming to streamline processes and adapt to the evolving needs of the transport industry.

MAN Expands its Electric Truck Lineup with over a Million Customisation Options

In an impressive leap forward, MAN has significantly expanded its electric truck lineup. Moving beyond the initial three basic models, MAN now offers an astonishing array of over a million different specifications for their e-trucks.

The new chassis versions of the eTGX and eTGS are designed for ultimate customisation, featuring a variety of wheelbases, cab versions, engine performance classes, battery combinations, charging connection positions, and a host of other industry-specific features.

Unveiled at the start of IFAT 2024 in Munich, the world’s premier show for water, sewage, waste, and raw material management, the new 4×2 and 6×2 chassis range highlight MAN’s innovative approach.

Driver Shortages Hamper Growth for European Truck Operators

A severe shortage of drivers is crippling expansion plans for more than half of European truck operators, according to a revealing report from the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

The Europe Truck Driver Shortage Report, which surveyed over 1,000 operators across the EU, UK, and Norway, uncovered a staggering shortfall of over 233,000 drivers. Alarmingly, this gap is expected to triple to more than 745,000 by 2028 as the current workforce retires.

The profession is facing a demographic crisis, with the average truck driver aged 47 and one-third of the workforce over 55, many of whom will retire within the next decade. In stark contrast, less than 5 percent of drivers are under 25.

Interestingly, the UK is faring somewhat better than its European counterparts, with only 1 percent of driver positions unfilled, equating to about 2,000 vacancies. However, most neighbouring countries are grappling with shortages around the 7 percent mark.

To combat this issue, over half of the operators surveyed by IRU are offering performance rewards and higher salaries to retain and attract drivers. On average, European truck drivers earn a gross salary that is 55 percent higher than the national minimum wage, with countries like the Netherlands offering up to 133 percent above the minimum.

The growing driver shortage presents a significant challenge for the European trucking industry, threatening its ability to meet increasing demand and stifling growth prospects across the continent.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights from the world of transportation and logistics in our next round-up!

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