HGV training ‘puts food firms on the road to profit’

By Gary Benardout

- Last updated on GMT

Investing in training puts foods firms on the road to profit, claims Gary Benardout
Investing in training puts foods firms on the road to profit, claims Gary Benardout

Related tags: Large goods vehicle, Transport

From restaurants to supermarkets and fishmongers to greengrocers, almost all types of business rely on road logistics in one way or another, especially the food and drink industry. So, it pays to invest in training drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

HGVs and light goods vehicles (LGVs) are a vital component of UK commerce, and without them the economy would likely grind to a halt, supermarket shelves would be empty and chefs left with no produce. 

And yet these vital vehicles have an uneasy relationship with the British public who view them as noisy and, in particular, dangerous. The transportation of fresh, chilled and frozen goods adds a whole new dimension to the importance of the logistics industry. Without the specialist knowledge to transport these goods, products would perish leaving suppliers with unfaithful customers and the economy struggling.

The transportation of perishable food items is one of the most demanding for HGV drivers, not only because of the time and temperature-sensitive nature but the ever-growing demands placed by food safety professionals.

Ensuring drivers are highly trained in this field will reduce the chances of produce perishing in transit and revenue being lost.

Vital for suppliers

More drivers need to be looking to further their skills and train in this specialist field. Transporting goods at specific temperatures for long periods of time requires more advanced training and a more sophisticated understanding, which is vital for suppliers to maintain good relationships and trust with their customers.

One objection I often hear is that driver training and advanced training can be costly. While I would strongly argue that this isn’t necessarily the case, the good news is that there are also significant business benefits to having a highly-qualified fleet.

Businesses should make the most of their logistics provider. An experienced provider can assess your current transportation process, offer advice on packaging solutions for temperature-sensitive food and drink and ensure your goods are being transported in line with government regulations.

If you need any more encouragement for arranging further training for your drivers, consider the following six reasons:

1. It makes your drivers more efficient. This makes them more able to make deliveries on time, keeping customers happy.

2. It’s an excellent tool for winning new business. Having the best drivers will make you stand out from the competition, enhancing your reputation for providing the best service. This is absolutely vital in a world where multiple businesses are competing for the same contract.

3. It broadens your new business horizons. The more diverse your fleet’s skill-set, the more types of contracts you will be able to bid for.

4. It keeps your drivers happy. Offering strong career progression opportunities also gives your drivers a stronger sense of job satisfaction, making them happier, more loyal and more likely to develop their career with you.

Reduce operational costs

5. It can reduce operational costs. Well-trained drivers use less fuel, which is not only good for the environment, but also saves a great deal on fuel costs. Similarly, because your drivers are less likely to be involved in an accident, insurance premiums and repair/replacement costs are likely to be lower.

6. It gives you peace of mind. Accidents and collisions are bad publicity and could cost you even if it wasn’t your driver’s fault. Having the best drivers around means you could avoid a damaged reputation, and even expensive legal proceedings.

The UK is currently facing an HGV driver skills gap. With an estimated 60,000 new drivers needed in the next five years, you can expect an influx of lesser trained drivers hitting the roads.

This is a big opportunity for firms that employ top notch drivers to really stand out from the competition.

Six reasons for driver training

  1. Makes drivers more efficient
  2. Good way to win new business
  3. Helps your business stand out from the competition
  4. Keeps your drivers happy
  5. Reduces operation costs
  6. Offers peace of mind

Source: Gary Benardout

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