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Online shopping surge helps van sales soar

28 April 2014 - 13:41 by Graham Miller

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While most people think about the impact of shopping online solely in terms of the retail market in the UK, it is worth remembering that there are many other industries that are benefitting from the increased e-commerce spend.

Last week, Fleet News reported that there has been a marked increase in the number of vans sold to British buyers, which is being directly attributed to the growing number of deliveries which are being made.

Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) now make up 10 per cent of all the cars on the roads of the UK, with the Department for Transport confirming that the amount of LCV usage is likely to have doubled by the year 2040, compared with today.

The RAC Foundation, which noted the increase in van sales, said that there are a number of practical reasons for haulage companies to switch away from larger delivery vehicles and, instead, choose the more compact vans that are currently enjoying a sales boom.

Delivery routes which typically wind through built up, residential areas are better suited to this type of vehicle and there are also environmental restrictions, which are causing companies to change the way they operate logistically.

Report spokesperson, Professor Stephen Glaister, said that the rise in shopping online had been significant in the past half-decade.

It is also currently suggested by analysts that there are still plenty of ways in which LCVs could be used more efficiently, as their current deployment strategies leave them without optimal loads for the majority of the time.

For drivers in the UK the idea that there will be fewer large trucks and vans and more light commercial vehicles on the roads might be a positive one, because this will ease traffic flows and give other road users fewer obstacles. And this is all thanks to our love of online shopping.