The statistics on traffic congestion are edifying, with record figures showing thousands of hours of standstill affecting the health of the European economy. Along with accidents, stress and pollution, slowdowns traffic jams bring about losses in productivity which the transport industry is trying to absorb until the break-even point is reached. There is also a shortage of drivers in a sector shunned by younger generations. But what is happening on the roads of our sector?
The phenomenon: road networks in many countries, in particular Germany, have not evolved with their time and are unable to meet the needs of a highly competitive market. The SAFRAM group deplores this situation and is doing its utmost to minimize the effects on its price grid. However, nobody is expected to do the impossible, and an increase in costs is likely. Traffic congestion complicates and significantly slows down the efficiency of logistics services, resulting not only in delays but also in increased complexity of deliveries, wear and tear on equipment and excessive fuel consumption. Drivers are also affected, with ever increasing nervous fatigue. There is an urgent need to undertake a substantial road improvement programme at the European level.
At the same time, the upturn in activity in the euro zone and the rise in volumes have resulted in tension when it comes to recruiting drivers and possible difficulties in meeting demand, due to the slowdown in investment in equipment. The lack of real economic prospects is probably responsible for this situation, which our group has anticipated by maintaining a fleet of recent, well maintained and equipped vehicles.
The profession is therefore suffering from a real shortage of drivers, all over Europe. Should this be seen as the result of a poor public image which has to be overcome with a new vision? At SAFRAM, we have reason to believe that by focusing on developing equipment and reducing driver fatigue, enhanced technology and efforts by the authorities to reduce traffic congestion, our business will continue to offer good career prospects and an authentic sense of freedom. We encourage any initiative that may help to change attitudes, starting with ourselves, in particular through working conditions which we constantly strive to improve.
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