The introduction of the country’s first Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in London this year has required workers across the haulage industry to adapt quickly. While just reading the name should give you the general idea of what a ULEZs is and how they work, it’s important to understand how they can affect businesses now and in the future. While they clearly present obstacles, ULEZs also present opportunities, especially for enterprising hauliers who can be flexible with their return loads.
Read on to learn what the zone could mean for you, and how popular freight platform Haulage Exchange (HX) can help you navigate it.
What is the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone?
The name is pretty self explanatory, and the current zone uses the Euro-6 standard as its threshold, with any vehicles that produce more pollution than these required to pay a fee every day they enter. All drivers of noncompliant vehicles will be affected, but rates are particularly steep for those driving delivery vehicles – easily enough to make the difference between a profit and a loss on any given job.
Currently covering the London Congestion Charge (LCC) area, the zone is set to expand to cover the entire city, and other local authorities around the country have discussed plans to implement their own versions.
How it Can Affect You
While the introduction of the capital’s zone, many in the industry are already feeling the hit, as the added charge essentially makes it much less profitable for drivers of noncompliant vehicles to take on and complete delivery jobs within the area.
Luckily, HX has a feature which can help. Called Multistop, the feature allows users to set up to ten stops in a single booking. The system is able to clearly illustrate the pickup and delivery points for all the jobs along the route as well as any return loads. Crucially, Multistop also automatically alerts the user if any part of the overall route falls within any kind of charge zone.
With ever more ULEZs planned for the future, this feature can be a real gamechanger when it comes to running a delivery business, allowing all involved to clearly see how much a job will cost and why.
Everyone involved wins because:
•Clients can see the actual cost of a job and how to make it cheaper
•Companies can specify they’re looking for compliant vehicles in charged areas
•Compliant drivers can get more work, as they clearly show up as the cheaper option.
With simple, easy to use systems like Multistop, everyone involved will be able to adapt to this new way of working much quicker than they might have thought.
Overall, ULEZs present both challenges and opportunities. Hauliers might need to rethink the way they offset costs (by chasing more opportunities for return loads, for example) but avoiding these costs where possible and finding alternatives is easy with HX and Multistop.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching real time work and return loads with available vehicles, and is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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