You see them every day on your commute. The white vans also known as “Boxer and Master” have become ubiquitous across the UK. Many people may not pay attention to them, but the men in these white vans are at the heart of all the good aspects of the UK economy.
We are at a time when e-commerce is pivotal to the UK economy. The success of these windows is hinged on offering one-click purchases and quick deliveries. This is why the importance of the “man with a van” to the UK economy cannot be overemphasize.
The DVLA defines these vehicles as light goods vehicles with weights as much 3.5 tonnes and as at last year, there were around 4m of them on UK roads, a new milestone.
Last year, a tenth of all registered vehicles was a van and a fifth of all the traffic on major routes across the UK has been put down to these vans.
The latest (and last of such figures) from the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2015 showed that the “man with a van” across the UK covered more than 46 billion miles. This highlights the importance of the people in this sector in relation to the improving national economy.
There has been an increase in the number of goods delivered as a result of the growth recorded in the e-commerce sector and this has led to substantial increase in the miles covered and the number of vans on the road.
We are now seeing individual van drivers striking up partnerships with some of the biggest e-commerce businesses and e-commerce businesses seeking out van fleet management services.
Players in the sector have mentioned the need for all operators in the sector to ensure maintenance of strict compliance to best practices to reduce the risk of accidents, loss of lives and economic loss.
Mark Cartwright and the FTA recently published a report which bemoaned the fact that the van community, in recent years, have been infiltrated by many non-professional drivers. This has been mooted as a possible reason for the rise in accident and injury rates by as much as 25% over the last decade. This also highlights why many businesses are seeking van insurance cover as a prerequisite for doing business with any “man with a van”.
Concerns about safety are legitimate but the contributions of the “man with a van” to the UK economy can no longer be ignored.