It’s May 2006 and so we should have reached the point where digital tachographs are mandatory. I say “should” because there have been so many false dawns for this particular piece of legislation that, writing a couple of weeks ahead, it’s hard to be absolutely certain.
The irony is that this is one piece of genuinely useful legislation for an industry which is generally subject to a surfeit of laws. After all, how often does anyone actually try to read those squiggles on paper discs used by the analogue system. At least there is some hope that some useful management information will come out of the digital system.
The digital tachograph is just one of the issues that operators have to deal with over the coming year.
Later in the year, of course, is the move to the Euro 4 emission standard for commercial vehicles. While the formal changeover date is October, operators are already having to make decisions about how they handle that – manufacturers will not be taking orders for Euro 3 vehicles for much longer.
But in the longer term, logisticians face the challenges of globalisation: with manufacturing being moved out the of the UK there are a huge range of issues associated with importing and warehousing goods, and then distributing them.
Companies need to look at how they can future-proof their businesses – to consider what additional skills are needed to manage extended supply chains, where to hold stock and how to manage distribution. After all, in the future simply delivering to city centre shops will be an art in its own right. What changes to the existing system are needed to make it fit for future demands?
These are the sort of issues that will come under the microscope at the Logistics Manager Supply Chain Conference which takes place alongside the Logistics Link Live! exhibition on 23-24 May. With a team of leading thinkers on supply chain issues speaking, it promises to be a fascinating event.
I hope you will be able to join us.