According to the Department for Transport, 1.6 billion tonnes of goods are transported annually in and around Britain.
Effective and efficient logistical management is essential with such a huge number of items on the move across the country. Not only will this help goods arrive in one piece, but it will also ensure the safety of staff and fellow road users.
Here, we explore several methods you can utilise to transport goods in Britain safely.
Use the right protective packaging
When transporting any goods, it’s important to use the right packaging to protect items from damage. This may seem obvious, but with a huge amount of packaging material available across the market, it can be difficult to determine the most effective for each item.
If you have large voids in packages, loose-fill products like polystyrene peanuts or biodegradable cornstarch chips can help fill the gap. Non-fragile items can be protected using crumpled kraft paper, while cardboard and bubble wrap are effective at absorbing shocks during transit.
For valuable or heavyweight products, block and brace packaging is most effective as it stops items from moving around in the box.
Do risk assessments and checks
Any logistics firm with a fleet of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) must do regular risk assessments and internal and external checks. All lorries must be roadworthy and safe to drive to reduce the risks of road traffic accidents.
The government offers guidance on the daily walkaround checks you should complete on an HGV before hitting the road. Internally, this includes checking:
- The front-view mirrors, cameras, and glass
- Windscreen wipers and washers
- Dashboard warning lights and gauges
- Steering wheel
- Brakes and air build-up
- Security of the cab, doors, and steps
Externally, checks include:
- Lights and indicators
- Fuel and oil leaks
- Security of body and wings
- Battery condition
- Diesel exhaust fluid
- Exhaust smoke
- High voltage emergency cut-off switch
- Spray suspension
- The tyres and wheels
Check out the government website for the full list of checks to complete. As well as undertaking checks and risk assessments, having logistics transport insurance in place can provide an extra layer of protection.
Provide comprehensive staff training
To ensure the safety of your operation, provide the relevant logistics training to your team. This will give them the essential skills they need to work effectively and efficiently while mitigating risks.
The training required will depend on each job role and responsibility but may include topics such as manual handling, working at heights, PPE, and dangerous goods.
Not only will comprehensive training help protect the health and safety of your staff, but it can also improve workflows. With the right knowledge, staff can implement smart haulage systems that ensure goods are shipped efficiently and on time.
By providing staff with essential training, undertaking important checks, and using the right protective packaging, you can help ensure the safe transit of your goods across Britain.