According to RHA figures, 98% of all goods consumed in the UK are transported by road and the industry itself is valued at around £124bn to the economy.
The haulage and logistics sector also employs around 2.54 million people in a multitude of roles, making it the 5th largest in the country. This is a key message for the RHA’s National Lorry Week campaign, which runs until 22 September and aims to encourage people to pursue a career in the industry.
However Mr Cullimore, the managing director of his family’s haulage and aggregates firm The Cullimore Group and member of the RHA’s national Board and Chair of its Bristol & Gloucestershire sub-region, calls for this importance to continue being recognised after National Lorry Week concludes.
“As an RHA Board Member, I’m fully behind this year’s National Lorry Week,” Mr Cullimore says. “We need to continue encouraging people of all abilities to explore a career in haulage, from operations to the drivers out there delivering our goods, not just this week but all year round, in order to ensure our industry continues to survive and prosper. As someone who works in this sector, I’m proud of the talented people we have and it’s important we continue adding to our pool of talent for years to come.”
In addition to encouraging new members, Mr Cullimore also calls for the government to support the RHA’s ambition to improve the pathway into the haulage industry. In a letter to MPs, he asks for developments to the facilities at service stations and rest stops currently available to lorry drivers to be made a high priority.
In his letter, Mr Cullimore writes, “The lack of adequately secure overnight parking and woeful shortage of rest facilities at secure locations for those delivering the goods we use on a daily basis is undoubtedly a major factor influencing the choice of potential employees to enter the haulage industry, and something we need to address as a matter of urgency. I actively support the RHA’s efforts in improving the supply and quality of lorry parking and drivers’ facilities, and therefore making a role within the industry more attractive, but these are not issues we can resolve without government support.”
This year, the RHA is calling for lorry drivers and haulage firms to show their appreciation for the haulage sector and its importance to the UK on social media, by uploading images of their vehicles and using the hashtag, #LoveTheLorry.