MORE than a third of European road transport businesses are thinking about expanding their operations into other countries, with the UK leading the list, according to a survey from DWF which found that despite the challenges of the last year, new regulations, the impact of Brexit and business disruption caused by Covid, transport companies polled in Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland are positively looking ahead to expansion.
A total of 38% of haulage decision makers who transport goods to the UK said their company is currently considering relocating or establishing new bases in the UK. The UK was closely followed by Italy (31%), Germany (30%), Poland (30%) and Spain (26%).
While the desire to expand into other European countries may be partly driven by opportunity, some companies are being forced to reconsider their business models due to changes to rules relating to weekly rest entitlement for drivers.
New EU regulations mean that operators will have to organise the workloads of international drivers to ensure they return home more regularly. No longer can an international driver spend weeks away from home.
The survey found that 63% said they will arrange transport home to base for international drivers, while 36% said they will look to establish one or more additional bases with a view to drivers completing shorter legs on international journeys.