A business approach to managing the rise of Low Emission Zones

The enforcement of the London ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) has garnered plenty of press, and the majority of it doesn’t paint a positive picture for the haulage industry. Paying the levy is unavoidable for any business operating non-compliant delivery vehicles within Central London, and there are more Clean Air Zones planned for Greater Manchester, Oxford, Bath, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow. However, the development of some exciting new software not only provides a solution to managing the issue, but also the chance of securing new business opportunities.

Transport Exchange Group Tackles the ULEZ Transport Exchange Group (TEG), the country’s leading provider of managed services for road transport (encompassing Courier Exchange and Haulage Exchange), has recently announced the introduction of several efficiency boosting features to benefit its more than 6,400 member businesses. For anyone affected by the ULEZ, one of the features in particular is proving to be a welcome and very timely addition to the complement of HX and CX’s online tools. 

The Multistop functionality enables contractors to post multiple stops on the same booking, with a ‘ULEZ Alert’ advising if any part of the (up to 10) jobs from pick-up point to final POD falls within a chargeable zone. The smart matching technology of Multistop provides far greater visibility for contractors and subcontractors, which is particularly helpful when quoting a job. TEG’s Product Manager, Aleks Mladenovic says, “The Multistop feature is a game changer for all our members, providing greater clarity for both load posters and carriers.

It also reduces complexity and duplication, because member businesses can now reconcile the whole job as a single package of electronic documents, as opposed to just one POD, which doesn’t take into the account any of the stops in-between.” Compliancy, Diversity and Making the Most of the ULEZ    With a huge number of Britain’s HGV fleets still running non-compliant vehicles (those that don’t meet Euro-VI emissions standards), the collaborative technology of Multistop provides myriad benefits. 

The system’s state-of-the-art geo-fencing technology instantly alerts the operator/driver whenever (any part of) a journey includes the necessity to travel within the ULEZ perimeter. For those who wish to avoid paying the charge altogether, Multistop affords real-time access to available compliant vehicles in the area so they can sub-contract the work out. This option means businesses are able to continue to operate competitively within the ULEZ and even increase their margins in the process.

Conversely, for member businesses that have already upgraded to Euro-VI compliant vehicles there is huge scope to capitalise on this lucrative niche market. Head of Marketing for TEG, Luciana Gouveia, explains: “The technology has multi-directional benefits. Member organisations with a non-compliant fleet can factor the ULEZ charge into their quote, meaning that they won’t incur the extra burden of tax.

Secondly, working in tandem with the Exchange’s smart load-matching system, the ULEZ Alert feature will help to sign post opportunities in real time for any member business which has invested in a fleet of compliant vehicles.”

By taking a measured approach to managing the inevitably increasing number of ULEZs, rather than fearing the potential strain the additional operating costs may inflict, proactive haulage companies can potentially grow profits and expand their sphere of business. 

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