London, UK (PRWEB) February 7, 2008
With the new London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) fees coming into effect this week, haulage firms are taking stock of the fiscal hardship that fees and fines will cause their business. For many, avoiding the London LEZ altogether seems like the only financially viable course of action, while others are increasingly turning to freight exchanges such as Haulage Exchange as a way of keeping their businesses in the black.
The London Low Emission Zone laws came into force on Monday 4th February, with the promise of charging heavily polluting haulage vehicles £200 per day to enter Greater London. The scheme, which has cost the government £49m to introduce, involves cameras checking all haulage vehicles over 12 tonnes against a database of HGVs certified as meeting EU exhaust limits. Any haulage driver which does not pay up faces a fine of up to £1000. The restrictions are enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and cover the entirety of greater London - an area of 610 square miles.
Although the thinking behind the London LEZ is clear -- cleaner air for Londoners, reducing the number of deaths a year by 1000 according to some sources -- haulage companies are up in arms due to the heavy fees required for them to stay in business in London, and due to the lack of information available about the London LEZ. The latter of these claims has caused the government to allow haulage professionals an extra 28 days after the launch before fines begin.
Haulage Exchange Loads Manager, Luke Davies, says that there seems to have been a pickup in the number of subscribers since the start of the year, and that can mostly be attributed to the introduction of the London LEZ. "I've read in a few places that many haulage workers are unaware of the London Low Emission Zone and what it's going to involve, but in terms of our membership there seems to be a real concern," he said. "I think it's one of the main reasons we've seen a growing membership. People see a freight exchange as a good way of cutting down on dead mileage, and it means that they can easily sub-contract London work to other companies who would get better value out of the LEZ charges, to save money," he added.
Freight exchanges work on the principle of allowing freight hauliers to exchange their loads to cut down on dead mileage. Normally, a haulage company or owner operator taking a load from Newcastle to Glasgow would only be compensated for the outward journey. With a freight exchange, like Haulage Exchange, the owner operator can find any loads being sub-contracted from Glasgow to Newcastle, giving them additional work on the way back and ensuring more profitability for the business. Using this system, it would be easier for haulage workers to either get better value from their LEZ fees, or to avoid London altogether, finding work in cheaper, less restrictive areas of the country.
"This, combined with the high fuel prices, means that haulage companies are having a pretty rough time of it at the moment," Davies continued, "but with a little co-operation and organisation, there's no reason that owner operators and haulage companies can't turn in a good profit despite everything."
About Haulage Exchange:
With offices in London and Nottingham, Haulage Exchange (http://www.haulageexchange.co.uk) is one of the UK's leading independent freight exchanges for the 7.5 Tonne market and beyond. Its sister site, Courier Exchange, is the UK's biggest exchange for express and same day movements and is now in its sixth year of trading.
Membership of the exchange is limited to accredited transport professionals, and offers them the chance to buy and sell domestic and international road transport industry services such as full loads, backloads, return loads, freight forwarding, and road haulage.
For more information, please contact Lyall Cresswell:
80 Scrubs Lane
020 8968 4105