Difficulties in obtaining capital during the recession meant that many companies delayed decisions on renewing their vehicle fleets, or reduced the size of their fleets. Registrations for new commercial vehicles in 2009 and 2010 were lower than usual, which created a shortage in HGVs.
As the UK economy has recovered, business activity has increased and companies have begun to refresh their truck fleets, according to Ryder Europe, which is owned by Ryder Inc, the US transportation and supply-chain management provider.
About 70% of Ryder’s new 562 vehicle fleet will be HGVs. Ryder funded the investment from its own balance sheet.
Nigel Martin, Ryder’s commercial vehicles sales director, said: “A lot our customers who put off decisions for fleet refresh are looking at renting for a couple of years because they want flexible [vehicle finance] solutions post recession. People want greener vehicles and are looking to grow the size of their fleets.”
Martin said he was seeing growing demand for HGVs in industries ranging from manufacturing and services, to food distribution and freight.
Ryder’s new HGVs comply with the latest environmental regulations in London, which charge penalties to the worst polluting vehicles entering the capital in the “low emission zone” scheme.
In its last financial year, Ryder’s turnover was £158m. In the public sector, Ryder provides contract hire and rental vehicle services to local authorities, fire and health authorities and the Ministry of Defence.