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Late last year (2015), we published a blog post discussing the robust sales observed in the used van market. The data behind that post indicated that companies were looking to shift from smaller lorries to larger vans for a more efficient local delivery system. They were willing to buy used vans to get them to the end of the year. Well, now there is additional data showing sales of new vans are just as strong. In fact, year-to-date sales bode very well for the delivery sector – and van driving jobs in particular.

According to Commercial Fleet, the new van market in the UK finished the first quarter of the year 3.3% higher. Almost 64,000 new registrations in March pushed the total for the year toward 99,000, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.2%. This tells us that the logistics industry has an eye toward expanding light commercial vehicle fleets for the foreseeable future.

For the record, the big winners were middleweight vans coming in at between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes. Their sales were up more than 14%. Sales of units under 2.5 tonnes fell 9% while heavier vans in excess of 3.5 tonnes grew at a rate of 3.3%. Ford, Volkswagen and Vauxhall were the top three sellers through the end of the first quarter.

Smaller, Lighter and More Efficient

No one who follows the logistics industry is surprised to see van sales going up. Those who pay attention to the sector recognise that two things are going on here, the first being the transition we talked about earlier. Companies that have been running smaller lorries in city environments – like London and Manchester – are running into more and more challenges by way of regulations intended to control traffic, cut pollution, protect cyclists, and reduce overnight noise. Rather than continuing to fight to keep their smaller lorries on the road, many are making the decision to shift to vans.

The other factor in play is the rise of the on-demand economy. This new economic paradigm is raising the bar for local deliveries with companies such as Amazon establishing numerous local distribution centres to offer customers same-day delivery. Entire fleets of new vans will be necessary in order to fulfil such promises.

From our perspective, the increase in new van sales means one thing: more van driving jobs for those who want them. We would be dishonest if we said we were not excited about the prospects. Indeed, we can see a lot of potential for growth – not only for our business but also for all of the future drivers who will have a legitimate chance at a good job after undergoing van driver training.

If you are thinking of pursuing a van driving job anywhere in the UK, consider training with us first. The HGV Training Centre operates dozens of first-rate facilities offering high-quality training that gets results. We can have you trained and looking for work more quickly than you might believe.

Sources:

  1. Commercial Fleet – http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/latest-news/2016/04/07/van-registrations-rise-33-in-march

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