Due to ever-increasing demand by the online shopping market, the amount of goods transported on UK roads last year increased by 12%. Research has revealed that the UK logistics sector was able to successfully deliver this with just a 9% increase in Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) usage.

Research conducted by the Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed continued improvements in fleet efficiency.

Freight Transport Association (FTA) head of national and regional policy Christopher Snelling said: “HGV use was already incredibly efficient, as being able to fill vehicles as much as possible is key to making a profit or keeping costs low… HGV use has become almost a fifth more efficient just since 2004.”

The Department for Transport data also revealed that three quarters of all UK goods movements are made by road, with a growing decrease in dependency on rail and water transportation. FTA’s Snelling said: “We need to do more to maximise the use of rail and water freight as part of making the UK’s supply chain as efficient, clean and safe as possible.

“But they can never replace the need for road freight – that is why the best future will see us maximise the efficiency of road freight as well as the other modes.”

Reacting to the positive results of the research, director of policy Jack Semple, of Road Haulage Association (RHA) said: “This is a great performance by a big, diverse industry – and the reasons are dynamism and innovation.”

Semple believes one of the key reasons for the continued improvements is the renewed use of high capacity trailers (double decker and long trailers up to 15.65m). Semple believes that the use of these vehicles, paired with improved use of IT systems by hauliers and greater collaboration between companies has led to the efficiency ratings shown in the results.