ReturnLoads.net can report that since the trial was introduced in 2012, only 550 vehicles have been allocated, which means there are still 1,250 that remain unused.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) had run an online exchange for the permits in a bid to encourage greater use, but has now closed this system and welcomed the Department for Transport’s decision to extend the trial to more operators
“Freight operators play a crucial role in ensuring the wheels of our economy remain well-oiled by supporting UK trade and industry and transporting the goods we need” Said Transport Minister Stephen Hammond “Longer semi-trailers enable freight companies to transport more goods, more efficiently, and should give significant economic and environmental benefits. We want to maximise their use during the trial to ensure we properly assess the benefits.”
Jack Semple RHA Director of Policy said, “Strong demand for permits has been evident from members across the industry, not least from enquiries to the online permit exchange service that the RHA has operated since the initial allocation…we welcome this new permit availability, both for existing operators and for those who wish to use longer trailers for the first time.”
James Hookham, the Freight Transport Association’s Managing Director for Policy and Communications also commented “The FTA supports the trial of longer semi-trailers, as there are significant environmental and efficiency benefits on offer from deploying these vehicles.”
“This is not a vehicle for all sectors and will be most beneficial on journeys where the goods carried are high volume, low weight as vehicle fill can be improved.
“The revised re-allocation process will allow those operators who can put these trailers into use on work for which they are suitable to obtain permits in a more timely manner, thus securing an essential contribution to industry’s carbon reduction programme.”
David Rowlands, Technical Services Director at Wincaton, told the Institute of Road Transport Engineers conference this week that the longer semi-trailers his company had been running demonstrated clear benefits with loads which commonly cube out.
ReturnLoads.net understands that there are still some issues, one being some warehouses receiving areas which are geared up to receiving a certain number of pallets and can sometimes struggle with the extra six euro pallets carried by the 15% bigger trailers.