Road Haulage Association

Haulage Industry News

Tag Archives: CEO

A budget for the voters…just not these ones!

Chancellor George Osborne delivered a highly political budget on 19 March.

With a General Election looming this was no surprise. If you are: employed, a first time house buyer, a saver, like beer, work in the entertainment industry and live on a Scottish island with no Internet; you got a result.

As far as this industry was concerned, yet again, we got some cold comfort.

The Chancellor failed to make a financial commitment to targeted funding for hauliers to address the driver shortage, despite intensive lobbying by the RHA.

The rejection at this stage of our call for support is a poor decision for the economy, for tax receipts and for the industry. But we note his commitment to finding an: ‘industry-led solution with the right level of access to, and funding support for training.’ We look forward to further discussions.

The government will review the speed with which HGV driving tests and driver medical assessments currently take place and will consider options to accelerate both in order to help address the shortage of qualified drivers.

I understand the issues here are down to a lack of resources at DVLA and DVSA. The government has to address this, otherwise any ‘industry-led solution” will stall before it gets off the line!

The expected announcement of a continuing freeze on fuel duty was a relief all the same; but the government still hasn’t got the message that a cut would bring broader economic rewards.

HGV VED was frozen and there were wins for small businesses and all businesses will welcome the reduced rate of corporation tax.

Our lobby for funding support and all other driver shortage related issues will now be even stronger in the coming weeks. I would like to thank the many RHA members and other organisations that have supported this work so far and continue to do so. But with the election only five weeks away all of you have a golden opportunity to bend the ear of MPs and potential MPs.

The current administration could be gone by 9 May and what replaces it needs to take a crystal clear message from our industry into government. It’s a simple equation: No drivers, no trucks. No trucks, no deliveries. No deliveries equal shortages. They’ll get the next bit.

Meanwhile, the RHA is committed to pressing ahead with its programme of advising members, promoting the industry and working to improve drivers’ conditions.

 

Richard Burnett

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Building on relationships and strategies

It’s nearly six weeks now since I joined the Road Haulage Association as the new CEO.

I have to say it’s been an absolute whirlwind, and I cannot believe how many people I have met in such a short space of time. I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome.

As I begin to understand how the RHA operates, I have also started to build my network of contacts, meeting government officials, MPs, the Traffic Commissioners, other trade associations and associated lobbying groups.

I have also had the opportunity to attend two regional council meetings as well as my first board meeting and I have visited a number of members’ businesses, to see their operations at first hand.   It has been great spending this time to gain a valuable insight into their perceptions of the RHA while understanding their needs.

In order to develop the vision and strategy for the RHA moving forward, bringing the organisation more in line with the current market challenges, I have engaged an external public relations agency to review both internal and external communication channels, to drive a more proactive approach to promoting the great work that the RHA is undertaking for its members. The current situation is too reactive and needs to change.

In line with this external review I have also started staff briefings to share my vision of creating ‘The trade association of choice that represents the road transport industry in the UK’.  The objective of these briefings is to start involving the whole RHA team at every level in shaping the future of our organisation while at the same time gaining their ‘buy in’ and support.

The briefings also provided a platform to praise publicly some of the great work that the RHA team have undertaken recently. A good example of this is the work that the RHA’s technical services manager, Ray Engley, has completed, by creating the RHA guide to safe and secure loading. This publication was circulated with last months Roadway magazine and has received plaudits industry wide including recognition from Senior Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell at the Bakewell member briefing. The demand has been so great that an initial order for 10,000 pocket size guides has been placed with our printer for broader circulation to drivers. It can be purchased online through the RHA Shop.

Over the forthcoming months as the RHA’s leadership team works on the future strategy, I will ensure that I keep you all up to date with progress and in parallel we will continue to lobby Government on the top 3 issues identified by our membership. That being: the driver shortage, fuel duty and road congestion. We will of course develop a proactive media campaign that supports this and highlights the economic impacts and our position in the national press.

On a lighter note, I would like to close this month’s update by congratulating CEVA Logistics on winning the Environmental Improvement award, sponsored by the RHA at this year’s CILT dinner. It was an honour presenting the award, which was a real testament to the CEVA team who deliver excellence in this area.

I look forward to catching up with you all again next month.

 

Richard Burnett

 

Understanding the RHA and your needs

I write this article, having just completed my first full week as the new CEO of the RHA.

I would like to thank Geoff Dunning for his support while handing over the reins of the business. Geoff has clearly been instrumental in creating a solid base upon which I can continue to build and I want to take this opportunity to wish Geoff a long and joyous retirement.

For me the process of review has started and I’m keen to really understand what makes the RHA tick, particularly from our Members’ perspectives, and where we can add further benefit and value.

I will be assessing every element of what we do and how we do it, engaging with the board of management and front line teams as well as you, the members. My objective is to develop a clear vision and strategy to take the RHA to the next level, so it is seen as the ‘leading’ trade association that represents the transport industry.

There are a number of projects that the team are currently working on, and one in particular is focussing on a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that will be game changing for the RHA. In conjunction with this it is my intention to change the current website design, which is of course the shop window for our organisation, and in parallel review our PR, media and marketing strategy to ensure that we are reaching a broader audience through both national and trade press, to raise awareness about the key issues that are affecting the industry right now.

As you read through this month’s ROADWAY you will note that there are a number of articles that talk about some of the key issues that are affecting the industry right now, among them the driver shortage, focus on compliance and Driver CPC to name but a few.

Drawing on my own recent industry experience, I would also add another issue, which needs addressing, road congestion. This growing issue is one that is directly impacting on the cost of operation. I have already engaged in a number of high-level discussions with key government officials on this topic and will keep you updated as progress is made.

Coming back to the driver shortage issue for a moment, this has been well publicised, however we need to stop discussing it and start acting to find a long term solution for the industry and as our director of policy, Jack Semple, has eluded to in his update, we are working on the RHA policy to address the issue and will share our position imminently.

As I have already said in previous interviews, I feel very proud and honoured to represent the road transport industry as the CEO of the RHA and look forward to engaging with all of you over the forth coming months as I get my feet under the table to drive forward a more commercially focused association that provides outstanding value for its membership.

 

Richard Burnett