Strong leadership and professionalism are key to improving the image of the LCV sector, according to the 2015/16 Van Excellence Report.
Van use is expected to almost double by 2040 compared to 2010. Currently 50% of vans in the UK are operated by sole traders and the biggest single use is in postal and parcels. FTA is keen to help operators shake off the ‘white van man’ image and highlight the value of the industry.
The Association developed its Van Excellence scheme to enable van-operating members to demonstrate industry compliance and allow them to share good practice in order to raise standards. The scheme was launched in 2010 and now has more than 100 members including Hertz, BT Fleet and ATS Euromaster.
FTA director of policy Karen Dee launched the report at yesterday's Commercial Fleet Summit in Telford, where she told delegates of the many misconceptions about vans and illustrated their value to the economy. While it’s true that the majority of freight is still moved by HGVs, the Van-Dependency Index confirms the industry importance of light goods vehicles. In specialised construction trades, the index (calculated as the number of vans per £1m gross value added) is 15.9 while in postal and courier it is 28.73.
Mark Cartwright, FTA’s head of vans, said: “Van Excellence has been embraced by the industry as a valuable initiative to enhance standards of van operator compliance and celebrate those who demonstrate excellence.
“The Van Excellence report reinforces this message, recording achievements so far and highlighting the economic and social value of van fleets which are indispensable to the UK economy.”
Van Excellence is open to van operators of all sizes and business sectors, including non FTA members. Courses offered include the Certificate of Excellence for Van Operators and the new FTA Van Excellence Certificate of Driver Competence, which has an option for driver qualification.