News from the Commercial Vehicle Show

Freight Online's Commercial Vehicle Show roundup

This year’s Commercial Vehicle Show (CV Show) is winding down after three action-packed days.  Attendance figures will be officially audited during the next couple of weeks but the initial reaction is that the annual event, which is the highlight of the road haulage calendar, has again attracted a bumper crop of visitors looking to see what’s on offer in the world of commercial vehicles.

Stand space at the exhibition is always at a premium and this year was no exception – the organisers announced a week before the doors opened that the CV Show was completely sold out and would be ‘crammed to the rafters with exhibitors spanning the entire road transport, distribution and logistics supply business’.  More than 450 exhibitors were in attendance.

In the run-up to the CV Show, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (one of the event’s partner organisations) revealed that the commercial vehicle market grew 25.3% in March to 67,965 units, thanks to a positive performance from both the van and truck markets.

The increase in van registrations for the month was led by 2.5-3.5t vehicles, which were up 23.8% to 34,007.  March was the third consecutive month of increased truck demand, which has risen by 41% so far this year.  Combined registrations for the first quarter of the year reached 108,456 units, up by 14.4% to an all-time high.

On the first day of the CV Show another of the partner organisations, the Road Haulage Association, took the opportunity to conduct an ‘election-style’ exit poll of visitors.  The findings indicated that the vast majority of people working in the road haulage and logistics industry want to see a Conservative-led government.

Of the 244 industry professionals who were asked: “which political party do you consider best represents the interests of the road haulage and logistics industry?” 57.7% answered “the Conservatives”. Labour was the choice of 8.2%, while the SNP and Green Party shared 2% between them.  Only 0.8% of those questioned said “Liberal Democrats.”

Interestingly, 13% of those polled thought none of the principle parties had the industry’s interests at heart, while 13% said they didn’t know.  A further 5% refused to comment.

Keeping the cost of fuel down is one of main concerns for hauliers and several of the visitors leaving the show commented they feared that a Labour controlled government would increase fuel duty at the earliest opportunity to help fund its manifesto pledges.

IvecoOf course, there was plenty at the CV Show for visitors to focus on.  Every aspect of the UK road transport sector was on display, including: trucks, vans, refrigerated vehicles, curtainsiders, tankers and tippers.  There was also an extensive range of ancillary suppliers to the industry offering products such as handling equipment, insurers, logistics, tyres, telematics, training providers, fuels and lubricant suppliers … and a whole lot more.

Iveco presented its International Van of the Year 2015-winning New Daily range, fresh from its success in a highly competitive contest which featured 12 new light commercial vehicles vying for the coveted title.  The launch of New Daily marks the full-scale re-engineering of the manufacturer’s best-ever selling commercial vehicle, with more than 2.6 million sold worldwide since production began.  Iveco has taken the opportunity to further enhance the vehicle’s carrying capacity by revising the ratio between wheelbase, total length and the carrying length.

BOC, the UK & Ireland's largest supplier of industrial gases and medical gases, launched its innovative, new eco-friendly FROSTCRUISE® truck and trailer refrigeration system.  The solution provides a significantly more environmentally friendly, efficient and reliable cryogenic alternative to diesel-powered mechanical refrigeration.  It was developed by BOC and its parent, The Linde Group.  Environmental benefits of include: zero operating carbon footprint and zero emissions (particulate, NOx and CO2) at the point of delivery and a 64% reduction in total carbon footprint compared to an equivalent diesel-mechanical refrigeration system.

Descartes Systems UK presented its comprehensive solution suite, which facilitates UK commerce’s competitive differentiation through achieving an efficient, compliant and transparent supply chain, from ports to store and home, for over 1,000 UK organisations.  Its product and service portfolio includes electronic customs clearance at ports; route planning & optimisation and fleet management; telematics and compliance management; and mobile applications for home delivery.

A brand new, innovative wheel alignment system for commercial vehicles is now available in the UK and is set to help fleets reduce their running and maintenance costs significantly.  The Hunter system, available exclusively through Pro-Align, is the first and only CV alignment system in today’s market which is capable of providing live alignment readings on three axles simultaneously.  This capability, along with other revolutionary features such as single roll compensation, means that workshops are now able to obtain a full wheel alignment diagnosis in just four minutes.  With such a rapid diagnosis, the system is expected to be used extensively by fleets in their ongoing efforts to maximise fuel efficiency and reduce tyre wear.

Thermo KingThose visiting the Thermo King stand had the chance to find out how to improve the cost and environmental sustainability of their operations and learn about environmentally sustainable solutions – including the new DuPont™ Opteon® XP44 (R-452A) refrigerant and low noise, PIEK certified units.  Thermo King is the first in the market to deliver safe, reliable and efficient units that use R-452A, which has about 50% less GWP than the current refrigerant.  The product does not compromise the safety, capacity or efficiency of the refrigeration unit, while performance remains unchanged, providing the same cooling capacity, pull-down and fuel efficiency.

Security specialist Maple Fleet Services announced that it had teamed up with leading vehicle door manufacturer JR industries to launch Integritas, an automatic, electronic tamper evident security seal with an integrated lock and comprehensive audit trail capabilities.  The completely self-powered solution has been developed to deliver the ultimate in reliability and user friendly operation, it utilises technology used and certified for use in the aviation industry to secure vulnerable mobile assets.

Wirth Research announced the launch of its all-new WR AeroKit™, a cutting-edge and innovative application of British motorsport technology that delivers truly outstanding performance and results in terms of heavy goods vehicles’ (HGV) drag reduction and lower carbon emissions.  The product’s development started in 2010 in a bid to use the learnings of the company’s motorsport experience to enhance the aerodynamics of HGVs.  The first adopter of this new technology, with an exclusive strategic partnership announced at the CV Show, is the UK’s leading multimodal transport and logistics brand, Eddie Stobart Limited.

This year’s CV Show was also the venue for the first ever World Crane Championships, sponsored by HIAB.  To prove they have what it takes, those competing for the title had to manoeuvre a HIAB X-HiPro 192 through a series of obstacles.  Johnny Jensen from Denmark set a winning time of 2 minutes and 18 seconds, and walked away with a prize of €25,000.  In second place was Tobias Bergström from Sweden, with a finishing time of 2:30, and Martin Utpatel from Germany came in third, with a time of 2:37.