Growing consumer confidence, coupled with the soaring demand for prompt home delivery services, has led to a sharp upturn in the number of vans and trucks being sold across the UK, brand new figures have shown.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 108,456 vans and trucks were registered between January and March 2015, making it a record-breaking quarter. The organisation stressed that as consumers up their spending, businesses are able to invest more money into delivery vehicles, and sales figures are anticipated to grow further in the coming months.
Some 384,120 commercial vehicles have been registered in the past 12 months alone, dwarfing figures from 2009, when the recession restricted registrations to just 221,132.
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, commented: “Commercial vehicles are crucial to the functioning of Britain’s economy and these latest figures paint a very encouraging picture.
“As business confidence grows, demand for the latest vans and trucks is now back to pre-recession levels – outpacing the rest of Europe.”
The SMMT states that Britain’s 4.4 million vans and trucks deliver 3,000 tonnes of goods every minute and these vehicles covered an astonishing 61 billion miles in 2014. UK couriers rely on this sizeable collective fleet to transport 81% of all goods delivered throughout the country.
With the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), published by Markit and the CIPS, highlighting impressive growth within the UK’s services sector in March 2015 – the index rose to 58.9 last month from 56.7 in February, with any score over 50 representing an expansion – it’s easy to see why the SMMT is so confident that consumer demand is set to increase further. In fact, this was the strongest rate of growth in the services PMI since August last year.
Additionally, research conducted by RetailMeNot and the Centre for Retail Research earlier this year led to the conclusion that online retail sales will reach £52.25 billion in the UK in 2015, up by more than 16% on last year. This is yet another indication of the renewed confidence among Britain’s legions of digital shoppers.
Commenting on the situation, Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go, suggested that the clamour for fast courier services will intensify as the year progresses.
“These statistics highlight the point that consumers are loosening their purse strings and are growing in confidence,” he remarked.
“While this is obviously great news for businesses, it’s vital that they keep up with demand and send goods out in a timely manner. The rising use of smartphones and tablets will inevitably make online shopping even more accessible, and with more people expecting next-day delivery, companies must maximise the efficiency of their parcel delivery services.”