This year’s Armistice Day remembrance was particularly significant for a number of reasons. Due to the recent spate of terrorist attacks and threats, security was an unfortunately high priority for all involved. In one town in Warwickshire, a haulage company stepped up to provide the necessary safety measures to ensure that the event went off safely. It is a little known fact that the haulage industry plays a significant role in the nation’s charity work. This was not the first display of participation from the shipping and logistics sector, and it won’t be the last.
Holding the Line
Bedfordshire Haulage Ltd provided security support to the veterans marching in this year’s Armistice Day parade. The haulage company’s lorries were strategically positioned at various points along the parade’s route to ensure that no other vehicles could enter and potentially disrupt the commemoration.
This local haulage company is just another prime example of the industry’s commitment to participation within the community. Whether the vehicles are part of a vast fleet or the single workhorse of a self-employed driver, employees are always ready to step up and take the lead when there is charitable need.
Charity on the Move
The opportunities for a haulage company to become involved in charity work are endless. Stories of individual lorry drivers identifying and addressing a need in the community are abundant. Larger shipping and logistics companies frequently back their employees’ charity work with monetary donations to encourage them in their volunteer work.
The PDF (Professional Drivers Foundation) also helps to ensure assistance if one of its members falls on hard times. Looking after ‘its own’ and giving back to the community is embedded in the business philosophy of the majority of successful lorry businesses in the UK.
Needs Big and Small
On a larger scale, the trucking industry has proven to be an invaluable participant in charity work. Back in 2012, the UK-based charity Transaid sent vehicles, funds and – most importantly – people with expertise to Tanzania to train individuals to drive freight vehicles to the neighbouring regions, whose inhabitants were in desperate need of aid relief. Not only did this solve the problem of the lack of efficient logistics and transportation, but it also provided many workers with a valuable job skill.
Across the pond in the United States, the freight industry also proved their stars as they stepped up to the plate to provide aid to hurricane victims during the past few months. Large quantities of medical supplies and food were needed across a huge geographical area, and the most obvious solution was to utilise the expertise of those who know the roads best. Although large freight vehicles are seen as a haulage company’s most valuable asset, it is the hardworking employees who literally go the distance when there is a need, proving that their worth is priceless.
A favourite complaint of the road-going public generally involves the inconvenience of coexisting with large 18-wheelers on a regular basis. We’ve all heard the critical chatter regarding vehicles either ‘going too fast’, ‘too slow’ or simply being ‘in the way’.
However, most of those who are quick to criticise have little awareness of the important role that the transportation sector, and even a single-vehicle haulage company, have in the community, both in times of ease and during a crisis. Lorry drivers will continue to be the unsung heroes of the road, because that is simply their way.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching a haulage company or self-employed driver with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,800 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.