TIP 50 years; a logistic history of innovation and change. Part 2

TIP 50 years; a logistic history of innovation and change. Part 2

From its founding 50 years ago, TIP has always been an early adopter of innovation. TIP constantly researches and pioneers the use of new technologies to ensure that its customers benefit from the very latest developments.

TIP: a history of innovation

We have been at the forefront of innovation in many areas including:

  • Intermodal freight transport, where we participated in industry initiatives to further develop standard-sized containers for intermodal freight transport.
  • Telematics and digitization where TIP both devised and now markets the leading trailer telematics solution, Trailermatics.
  • Trailer tyres. TIP delivers a Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) which enables fleet managers and drivers to monitor tyre pressures remotely and in real -time through telematics. A rim-fitted sensor measures the tyre pressure, temperature, and position. In addition, TIP is a member of the European Union-sponsored LORRY project, launched in 2013 to create a low rolling resistance tyre combined with telematics.
  • Electronic Brake Performance Monitoring Systems (EBPMS) where our expertise is highly sought after. For example, in 2014, the UK government’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) asked TIP to contribute to a working group to create a UK specification for EBPMS.
  • Preventative and predictive maintenance; Price-Per-Kilometre (PPK) contracts and Transportation – Capability Assessment Net (T-Can) tools where we have delivered solutions which incorporate the use of cutting-edge technology to give our customers industry-leading services.
  • Apps for inspection trailers and trucks; In 2014 a smartphone app for trailer fleet operators to create inspection reports online with photo, search, share, and compare features was launched by TIP.


Future technologies

TIP’s Research & Development teams are researching the innovations and new technology which are dominating the headlines today and will have a significant impact on our industry going forward.

These innovations include:

  • Artificial intelligence that controls the electronics and engines of current and semi-/autonomous trucks.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) that uses technology to connect different smart devices to each other to drive interesting applications. For example, sensors on trailers can send a signal to the fleet manager or driver on their smartphones to tell them that there has been a breach of security on a container.
  • Hybrid and electric motors are increasingly likely to become adapted powertrains for trucks in the medium term.
  • Autonomous trucks. Truck manufacturers are developing “autonomous” self-driving trucks without drivers. There are also semi-autonomous trucks which include a driver whose role is to manage the system and retake control in an emergency or to drive the freight to its delivery destination, once the truck has split from the platoon.
  • Truck platooning is a convoy of typically two to three semi-autonomous trucks, wirelessly-connected and all closely following one another. Acceleration, braking, and steering across all trucks in the platoon is controlled by the lead vehicle.
  • The Blockchain is a digital ledger that registers crypto-currency transactions. In August 2017, for example, Freightwaves reported that container shipping companies were starting to take a “blockchain-based approach” using a digital currency called “Ethereum”  to pay for transactions.
  • Trailer pooling and sharing is a concept in which, for example, a company rents a trailer from warehouse A and leaves it to be unloaded at delivery point B, then exchanges this one for a different trailer type for another delivery. Trailer sharing is also something to consider. By sharing trailers with other fleets, fleets can benefit from the efficiencies of trailer pooling. The more assets they have at different locations, the more flexible the operations will be for all partners.

TIP: an early adopter of innovation

TIP takes a proactive approach to participating in the transport industry’s next waves of innovation and is committed to being an early adopter of innovation.

Going electric

A strong illustration of this “early-adopter” mindset is TIP Trailer Services France’s approach to electric Commercial Light Vehicles (eCLVs). It has championed the cause of electric vehicles since early 2017 and now offers its fleet customers the opportunity of renting or leasing eLCVs.

TIP: ready for the next 50 years and beyond

Our industry has experienced both historical highs after the fall of the Berlin Wall and challenging downturns. Regardless of the prevailing economic circumstances, TIP’s dedication to service and innovation has remained unyielding. In good and bad times, we have always been here for our customers. They have rewarded us by trusting us with the largest trailer fleet on the road, comprising some 64,000 vehicles across 80 locations and 17 countries.

At TIP, we are already looking forward to supporting our customers to the highest standards for the next 50 years and beyond, through change and innovation! For more information on how you can enjoy the latest innovations in trailer services, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.

Growth in Benelux road freight transport

Growth in Benelux road freight transport

The Benelux has been the main hub for international freight transport from and to the European Union for many years. Judging by positive economic forecasts, the Benelux will remain on the radar screens of fleet managers as an interesting area for new business opportunities. Those fleet managers who have access to flexible trailer solutions will enjoy a clear advantage over their competitors.

Benelux as transport hub

The seaports and airports in the Benelux countries within the EU are among the reasons why the Benelux is such a major transport hub. The Benelux seaports of Rotterdam (no. 1), Antwerp (no. 2) and Amsterdam (no. 4) are all in the top 5 seaports in the EU. The Benelux airports of Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Liège, and Brussels occupy the numbers 2, 7, 8 and 10 in the rankings of the top 10 airports for freight in the EU. The Benelux is responsible for over 75% of inland waterway transport. Over 2.4 billion tonnes of goods are transported in, from and to the Benelux, via its seaports, waterways, rail network, and airports. [source: Benelux Union]

Spotlight on the Netherlands

Research agency Panteia’s KTV short-term forecast predicts that road freight transport in the Netherlands will increase by 3.8% in 2018, generating an additional 27.8 million tonnes of freight. This higher forecast is due to favourable world economic growth, Dutch government spending policy and the Dutch per kilometre haulage tax remaining unchanged. Panteia expects an increase in the transport of building materials, chemicals, and containers. However, this expansion will bring its own challenges, chiefly recruiting more drivers to meet demand. [source: Aftersalestruck]

Economic indicators – Benelux

Economic growth is another indicator of the health of the road transport market. According to EU forecasts, the Dutch economy will grow by 2.9%, the Belgian economy by 1.8% and Luxembourg is set to enjoy an impressive 3.9% expansion, whilst the EU overall will grow by  2.3% [source: EU]

Flexible trailer solutions – the key to success

Demand fluctuation is one of the most important factors in fleet management and profitability. Consequently, the ability of fleet managers to increase or decrease their numbers of trailers rapidly, easily and cost-effectively generates a powerful business advantage.

Add trailers for spikes in demand

By renting and leasing at competitive rates from a leading trailer services company such as TIP, fleet managers can add trailers to their fleets to handle spikes in demand then simply return them during troughs in demand at short notice and without having to bear the fixed costs of ownership.

Buy and sell

Renting and leasing through TIP gives fleet managers the opportunity to easily upgrade their trailers without wasting time selling used asset and worrying about resale values.  TIP can buy specific trailer assets for your needs and, as the owner of a 50,000 unit+ fleet, can pass on the economies of scales it enjoys. Celebrating its 50th year in business with a network of industry contacts and expertise to match, TIP is also well placed to sell your used trailers and trucks on your behalf.

Outsource your trailer maintenance

Why not outsource the maintenance, servicing and repairs of your trailer fleet to a leasor or rental company such as TIP? This takes away the “headache” of recruiting, training and retaining specialised trailer mechanics and maintaining a servicing bay with the latest technology and a warehouse full of spare parts.

Trailers for every occasion

TIP offers all types of trailers on a rental or leasing basis including, flatbeds, curtainsiders, box trailers, tankers and reefers to fill short-term gaps in your fleet.  Need to fulfill a last-minute customer delivery request? TIP has the rental solution you need. For more information on how you can benefit from TIP’s flexible trailer solutions, please contact TIP using this form.

How to deal with driver shortage – Part 3

How to deal with driver shortage - Part 3

5 Original strategies to successfully recruit truck drivers

TIP Trailer Services suggests some practical actions that fleet managers can take to recruit truck drivers.

  1. Recruit at trade shows and events

Many of you will be exhibitors at shows and events across Europe be it The Commercial Vehicle Show (UK), Trans Poland (PL) or Elmia Lastbil (SE). These are great opportunities for meeting truck drivers visiting the shows, in person.


To capitalise on the recruitment possibilities of shows, TIP recommends a plan of action including the following:

  • Set measurable goals for the event. Research the number of attendees, a percentage of driver attendees and estimate how many drivers you are planning to recruit. Communicate goals to your staff clearly.
  • Prepare and highlight the messages that you want to communicate to interviewees about your company as an employer; how it differentiates from other companies and the driver job specifications. Share these messages with all the members of your team so that you will all be communicating the same information.
  • Announce in the Show Preview sections of the trade press that your company is recruiting. You can contact the press through a press release, an ad or by phone.
  • Use a set of standard questions, interview potential drivers at the show or at least take their contact details so that you can organise an interview afterward.
  • Follow up after the event. Your post show communication via email or phone is essential. Assess your candidates and decide whom you want to recruit.
  • Evaluate your team’s performance. What worked? What didn’t? How could you improve next time?

How to deal with driver shortage - Part 3

  1. Recruit at truck stops

  • Use printed media at truck stops. Why not buy poster ad space at truck stops so you can catch the attention of drivers with your recruitment campaign as they use the facilities?
  • Organise physical events. You could organise a stand branded with your fleet’s name and logo in the entrance hall of a truck stop. This would give you the opportunity to talk directly to drivers. You could also incentivise drivers to have a conversation with you by offering them a voucher for a drink or meal, for example.
  • Advertise in trade magazines or on websites that your target audience reads online or buys at truck stops.


  1. Recruit via social media

On long trips, drivers actively use social media to communicate with their families and discuss issues on the road.

  • Make use of social media such as Facebook or Instagram and their display advertising opportunities. There are numerous truck driver-focused Facebook community groups such as NorwegianTrucksDrivers that you could place a recruitment advert in.
  • Make your recruitment strategies mobile friendly. Most drivers in Europe communicate via smartphone. Adapt your recruitment marketing so that it attracts drivers’ attention via their smartphones. Smartphones are an increasingly visual medium so communicate through photos and short videos where possible.


  1. Recruit via the press

Develop your company’s presence in the press and build your reputation with drivers and other players in the industry.

Editors are always searching for news stories to publish. If your fleet has taken an interesting initiative to help attract new drivers, then share it with the media. Initiatives could be providing an unusual reward for overtime or establishing a working policy that particularly appeals to women truck drivers. Editors also like to receive news of corporate events such as “new customer wins” or a “fleet ordering a significant number of new trailers”.

You can communicate with the media yourself or hire a public relations consultant to help you.

  1. Recruit via your drivers

Nothing beats word of mouth recommendation, particularly the one of your well-motivated drivers. Encourage your drivers to introduce their driver friends to your company. Provide your drivers with a reward for doing so.

For more information on how TIP Trailer Services can help your fleet with trailer solutions to driver shortages, please contact us using this form.


TIP 50 years; a logistic history of innovation and change. Part 1

Just one factor has remained the same in our sector throughout our 50-year history that we are celebrating in 2018: constant change. TIP Trailer Services prides itself on its ability to embrace change and to support its customers’ quests for innovation.


At TIP Trailer Services, change and innovation are quintessential elements of our DNA. We view them as opportunities to deploy our expertise and find new ways to add value to our customers’ service and experience.

Trailer history

It is interesting to rewind history to see how the trailer has changed. The first semi-trailer truck was invented by Alexander Winton in 1898 in Cleveland, Ohio. He started off by producing cars but realised that he couldn’t transport them to their new owners without increasing their mileage and damaging “wear and tear”.  Winton invented the semi-trailer truck, which carried one vehicle on a trailer to deliver his cars and production began in 1899. [source: fueloyal*]

Early technological advances

The next major advances in technology came after World War I. They included pneumatic tyres, electric lights and power brakes and closed cabs. Mack Trucks of New York invented the automatic starter*.  Peterbilt, a coachbuilder in Washington State, built the first trailers adopted for carrying cut timber*. The first modern semi-trailer trucks began appearing. The diesel engine did not become common in trucks in Europe until the 1930s and in the USA until the 1970s. [source: wikipedia]

Trailer evolution and material science

The technology story for trailers and trucks from the 1930s to the 1950s mirrors the evolution of materials sciences. For example, in the 1950s aluminum started replacing steel as the material of choice for building trailer and truck bodies. 1960s trailer manufacturers used new materials such as plastics and foam to line containers to help with temperature control. [source: trailer-body builders]

Standard European containers

In 1951, the Swiss Museum of Transport and the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) selected a standard-sized container for Western Europe, based on the Netherlands’ system for consumer goods and waste transportation called “Laadkisten” (meaning “loading bins”), in use since 1934. This “intermodal container” can be transported on the roads by a trailer, on ships, by air or rail worldwide, thereby facilitating global transportation. [source: Wikipedia]

Trucks go electric

The 1960s saw the introduction of the electric motor for powering trucks. Smith’s Delivery Vehicles in the UK produced a 1.1 tonne milk delivery truck powered by an electric motor with a 50 km range and a top speed of 40 kmph, capable of transporting 80 cases of milk. The owner of the company said: “There is only one other vehicle in our operation that we can move for less money, and that is our wheelbarrow.” [source: trailer-body builders]

1980s computer age begins

From the 1980s, computer technology has been a major driver of innovation in trailer and truck technology. Manufacturers used computers to improve the precision and quality of vehicle manufacturing. Some fleets started using computers to manage their businesses. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) was invented for remote tyre pressure monitoring. Then in the 2000s, fleets began using the internet to promote themselves, check order status or inventory levels, and place orders. Telematics became widely adopted to help drivers navigate more efficiently. It also enabled fleet managers to monitor their trucks and trailers more effectively on a remote basis.  [source: trailer-body builders]

TIP and history

Throughout its 50 years’ existence, TIP has had great respect for the history of its industry and the lessons it can draw from it, to ensure that its customers enjoy the best possible experience, and services.

To make sure you do not miss Part 2 of TIP’s logistic history of innovation and change, you are invited to subscribe to our newsletter:

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Celebrating 50 years of TIP 

TIP is delighted to celebrate its 50th anniversary. From humble origins in 1968, TIP Trailer Services, as it is now known, has dedicated itself to providing expert services to our customers at all stages of the trailer life cycle.

Today TIP Trailer Services range from renting trailers to specifying, sourcing and financing them.  We maintain our own fleet as well as provide the most comprehensive maintenance and repair services for entire fleets, or just one trailer, with a full menu of options for all our customers everywhere and trailermade solutions for each of them.

Thank you for your support

Bob Fast, CEO, TIP Trailer Services: “Our achievements would not have been possible without the trust and support of our loyal customers, key suppliers, business partners, shareholders and our TIP employees.

I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our customers from owner-drivers through to multi-national fleets, many of whom we have enjoyed strong relationships with for over 20 years. I would like to praise our suppliers for their daily support in helping us make our customers’ trailers run as smoothly as possible.

I would also like to thank our employees for their dedication and commitment to working with our customers to find them the best trailer solutions. We have created a team culture which encourages people to share their knowledge and explore and develop new ideas. This spirit is part of what makes our company a great place.

Thank you all for being our valued partners and sharing our journey to TIP’s 50th year milestone and beyond.”

TIP time travel

Our story began in 1968 as Transport Pool which specialised in trailer rental from branches in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the UK.  We were renamed as Transport International Pool (TIP) eight years later in 1976. Recent highlights in the history of TIP Trailer Services include:

2003 – the appointment of Bob Fast as CEO

2007 – the entry of TIP into 3rd party maintenance and repair services

2013 – the acquisition of TIP by HNA, a large conglomerate, from its previous owner, GE and the consequent renaming of TIP to TIP Trailer Services.

2014 – TIP agreeing on financing and securitisation facilities and expanding them.

TIP today

TIP Trailer Services is a leading provider of road freight equipment including trailer rental, leasing, and maintenance in Europe and Canada. To give a sense of the scale of its operations, TIP’s revenue reached €448m in 2016. [Source: TIP Annual Report 2016] TIP now has the largest trailer fleet on the road with 64,000 vehicles across 80 locations and 17 countries.

Some TIP statistics

In 2016, TIP’s managed fleet covered 7,000,000,000 kilometres per year. This distance equates to a trailer travelling around the earth’s 40,075 km circumference 174,672 times!

Other interesting TIP statistics for 2016 include that:

  • TIP conducts maintenance on 104,000 trailers per year.
  • Each year we inspect more than 1,000,000 tyres.
  • TIP handles close to 2,000,000 work orders and about 250,000 internal workshop events over the year.
  • We spend €76,000,000 on parts annually.
  • TIP handles 80,000 roadside incidents per year.

TIP trailer rental and leasing

Our highly experienced and professional staff, who on average have been with TIP for seven years, will tailor our service to your individual needs. Our offer includes the leasing or rental of trailers across all trailer options ranging from flatbed and curtainsiders to tankers and reefers and others. This is supplemented by our trailer maintenance and repair services.

Through rental and leasing, fleet managers can add trailers to their fleets or reduce their number to handle fluctuations in demand with ease and without having to bear the fixed costs of ownership. These financial arrangements typically enable fleet managers to upgrade their trailers to new ones with the latest innovations, sooner than if they were owners.

As a fleet owner of over 64,000 vehicles, TIP passes on the benefits of the economies of scale it enjoys to fleet operators in the form of market-leading leasing or rental terms. TIP also has a highly experienced Remarketing team to help you sell your used trailer and truck assets.

Trailer maintenance and repair

We offer a range of services to improve our customers’ fleet performance and reduce total cost of ownership and trailer downtime. Through our 80 workshops and fleet of over 160 mobile service units across Europe, we provide a comprehensive maintenance and repair service for entire fleets, or just one trailer, on a one-off basis or through a contracted outsourced programme. We also run a pan-European Roadside Assistance service.

Customised solutions

The TIP customer service teams are always on hand to share the company’s 50 years of trailer experience and expertise with fleet managers to ensure that they have the best “trailermade” solution for their needs.

TIP the next 50 years!

TIP Trailer Services looks forward to continuing to be your trailer provider of choice and trusted advisor in the transportation and logistics industry over the next 50 years and beyond!

Will the last mile delivery be electric?

Will the last mile delivery be electric?

The European Union wants to bring down greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from its 1990 levels by 2030¹. One of its issues are the high levels of CO2 emissions in urban areas. Part of the solution are electric light commercial vehicles (eLCVs) for the last mile delivery. TIP Trailer Services France has been a pioneer since early 2017, championing eCLVs to the point where today it offers its fleet customers the opportunity of renting or leasing eLCVs.

Evolving city planning

City planners are investigating ways of improving air quality. They are looking to reduce congestion on city roads, which trucks often get delayed by, and the resulting CO2 emissions.

European cities have created about 200 “low emissions zones”. London was an early implementer of the “low emission zone” in 2008. It aims to go one step further with an “ultra-low emission zone” in 2019. Other cities including Paris, Athens, and Madrid plan to ban diesel vehicles from their centers by 2025. [source: JLL research report]

Last mile delivery – the future’s electric?

Among several initiatives to combat CO2 emission, eight of Europe’s largest cities including Amsterdam, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Rotterdam, and Stockholm have teamed up with the European Commission to run the FREVUE  project. FREVUE supports the introduction of electric freight vehicles to demonstrate and evaluate innovative urban logistics solutions. It seeks to establish “essentially CO2 free city logistics in major urban centers by 2030.” It argues that achieving this through electric vehicles (EVs) will simultaneously eliminate other harmful pollutants in city centers.

Why electric?

eLCVs vehicles are increasingly seen as a credible alternative to diesel-powered ones for last mile delivery. They can be smaller than trucks whilst retaining rear doors for loading. Small eLCVs are more maneuverable around narrow streets and have less impact on the environment than their diesel counterparts. To accelerate the growth of eLCV for last-mile deliveries, cities need to provide more charging facilities. [source: SupplyChainDive]

TIP France championing eLCVs 

Not content to have been an early adopter of eLCVs along with its long-established customer, DPD France, by testing them in Orléans over March 2017, TIP Trailer Services France has organised the third of its TIP Electric Tour conferences on the theme of “Electric vehicles for the last mile delivery: the challenges and solutions.” Partnering with Capitole Finance-Tofinso, this event took place in Toulouse in November 2017. Among the subjects discussed by the conference speakers were:

  • The eLCV market including the increased numbers of manufacturers in the eLCV leading to more attractive pricing; the arrival of refrigerated eLCVs; charging facilities.
  • French and European regulations and government incentives to purchase eLCVs.
  • The state of the charging facilities across France and interoperability between the different providers.
  • The future Renault Master ZE, its sustainable construction and the potential for recycling of its components.

Test driving TIP’s eLCVs

Like at previous TIP Electric Tour events in Marseille and Lyon, numerous customers from local authorities, road freight transport, and logistics companies were able to test drive the TIP range of electric vehicles.

TIP’s eLCV range today

TIP France can now offer eLCVs to its customers on a short-term rental of less than a year or on a long-term leasing basis (1 to 10 years). The long-term lease includes maintenance and repair. Customers benefit from TIP’s extensive fleet management experience, its network of workshops across France that can service electric vehicles; its expertise in telematics and remote access maintenance; reporting.

TIP can also buy conventional LCVs and dispose of them as part of a part-exchange option.

Experience an electric last mile delivery with TIP

For more information on how you can experience an electric last mile delivery through TIP’s eLCV offer, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.

¹ Source: “Towards low-emission EU mobility” Briefing March 2017 by the European Parliament

Get your trailer back into top gear with TIP European Roadside Assistance!

Get your trailer back into top gear with TIP European Roadside Assistance!Presenters of the Top Gear TV programme, be it the English, French or Italian versions, appear to suffer a car breakdown at least once every three episodes. The breakdown is usually in a “cheap car” but sometimes even the “super cars” are stranded on the hard shoulder. The presenters make fun of the experience. In reality, breaking-down in a truck can be a nightmare, costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, TIP European Roadside Assistance is just a call away to help you get your driver, truck and trailer safely back into top gear!

Unexpected trailer breakdown occurs more often than we would like. An electrical or mechanical fault can bring even the best maintained trailers to a halt. Dr. Peter Hart, Chairman of the Australian Road Transport Suppliers’Association offers sensible advice, applicable globally, “Every professional fleet should have a clear process in place on how to react to a breakdown.” [source: Primemovermag]

Preventative planning

Unexpected breakdowns are costly and disruptive. Fleet managers who register with a preventative roadside assistance programme reap the following benefits:

  • Maximising safety – A trailer on the kerb of a motorway poses a safety risk for the driver and trailer.
  • Minimising trailer downtime – With a trailer out of action, you have to make alternative arrangements for transporting goods whilst managing customer expectations for new delivery times.
  • Minimising breakdown costs – Typically, signing-up on the spot to an emergency breakdown service for towing and repairs is more expensive than preregistering.

TIP Roadside Assistance

TIP offers a pan European breakdown service for your trailers 24/7, 365 days per year. TIP provides support in 18 languages and has roadside assistance contact numbers in 16 European countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Back on the road asap

With TIP European Road Assistance, you enjoy access to our extensive network of partners and technicians who will quickly get your drivers back on the road. Our service is provided by our network of workshops or by mobile service vans.

Our mobile vans carry an impressive selection of internal workshop equipment, power supplies and tools as well as spare parts to cover the most common problems and minor bodywork repairs. These vehicles include complex trailer diagnostics technology to test brakes and detect electrical faults.

Pan-European mobile service for trailers

Our technicians use these vans not only for emergency repairs but also for conducting regular servicing and maintenance on customer sites. TIP sends these vans out with one or two technicians to do maintenance and small repairs at customer sites so that TIP customers don’t lose time driving to TIP workshops.

The customer will constantly be informed about developments on breakdown repairs, a process that can also be monitored online through the TIP Roadside Portal.

Easy TIP European Roadside Assistance membership now!

It’s easy to benefit from the TIP European Roadside Assistance programme. You can sign up now or at the site of your breakdown! There is no registration fee required. You only pay for the repairs and the call handling management when you make use of this service.

There are several ways in which fleet managers can access the European Roadside Assistance programme:

  1. You can register solely for a European Roadside Assistance contract, which enables you to be prepared for any breakdown.
  2. If you rent a trailer from TIP, European Roadside Assistance is always included.
  3. If you lease a trailer from TIP, you can choose different maintenance contracts including a European Roadside Assistance pack and choose the style of roadside assistance that you want, tailored to your specific needs locally.

Peace of mind

Enjoy peace of mind with the TIP European Roadside Assistance programme! If you want to be prepared for the unexpected, contact TIP and register as a new customer.

Trends in fleet rental and leasing

Trends in fleet rental and leasing

According to forecasts, the European economy continues to grow and offer road freight transport operators additional opportunities for business. To meet increased demand, fleet operators need to consider how they develop their fleets. For many fleet managers, truck and trailer rental or leasing are very attractive and flexible solutions.

Market growth

The CNR (Comité National Routier), the French road freight transport economic committee, reported in November 2017 that the global economy will continue to grow at between 3.5 and 3.7% per year through to 2019. Meanwhile, it expects growth in the Eurozone economies to slow down to 1.9% in 2018. The road transport industry has benefitted. France, for example, saw a 10% rise in tonnes per kilometre transported in the year to the end of June 2017.

Growth in truck rental and leasing

Many operators are adopting flexible ways of running their fleets to meet the peaks and troughs of fluctuating demand for deliveries driven by e-commerce as well as economic uncertainty.

The truck and trailer rental and leasing industry have been a beneficiary. According to market researchers IBISWorld, this industry in the UK, for example, has grown at an annual compound rate of 3.7% over the last five years.

Trailer rental and leasing – advantages

Trailer rental and leasing should be on the radar screens of fleet managers seeking more flexibility in terms of when to increase or decrease their numbers of trailers, having access to the latest technology and how to finance their fleet. One advantage of having access to trailers through a rental or leasing arrangement is that it does not tie up all your capital as it would do through an outright purchase.

Meeting fluctuating demand

Through rental and leasing, fleet managers can add trailers to their fleets to handle surges in demand and hand them back during slowdowns in demand at short notice, with ease and without having to bear the fixed costs of ownership.

Competitive rates        

Thanks to the savings passed on by leasors through the economies of scale that they enjoy with the manufacturers, fleet managers can benefit from competitive rental or leasing rates for trucks and trailers. In some cases, this may provide fleet managers with higher specification vehicles than through their own purchasing power.

Ease of upgrade

Unlike a loan, it also gives fleet managers the opportunity to upgrade their trailers with ease without having to worry about the time needed to sell a used asset and its resale value. In the US, for example, according to Price Digests, used truck values fell 7.3% between May 2016 and May 2017, due to oversupply [Source: JPMorganChase]. This situation has parallels in Europe.

Leasing, newer trucks

The average age of leased trucks over 3.5t tends to be significantly less than owned trucks. For example, in Belgium leased trucks are on average 3.2 years old compared to 7.9 years old for owned trucks. [source: LeaseEurope]

Latest technology, sooner

The ease of upgrading through rental and leasing agreements enables fleet managers to move sooner to trucks with the most recent technology. This is an important consideration for fuel-saving technology since fuel consumption accounts for around 70 percent of a fleet’s annual operating costs [Source: JPMorganChase]. This will also contribute to fleets meeting ever more stringent EU CO2 emissions standards. Research company IBISWorld believes that operators that update their fleets with trucks that include the latest technologies are likely to outperform their rivals.

Outsource maintenance

As part of a rental or leasing contract, a fleet manager can outsource the maintenance, serving and repairs for their trailer fleet to the leasor or rental company. Time and resources saved can help the fleet manager focus on core parts of his business. It eliminates the need for the fleet manager to recruit, train and retain specialised trailer mechanics and to have warehouse space to store an inventory of spare parts alongside the fixed overheads of doing so.

TIP leasing and rental

TIP offers a wide range of rental and leasing solutions and can advise on the different leasing regulations across Europe. With a transport fleet of over 70,000 units, TIP is one of Europe’s largest transport equipment leasing companies. It can also purchase each asset specifically for you.

TIP rental options

We offer trailers on a rental basis in all forms including flatbed, curtainsiders, box trailers, tankers and reefers to fill short-term gaps in your fleet. This is an extremely useful option for fleet managers needing to fulfill a last-minute customer delivery request.

TIP leasing options

For fleet managers looking for a flexible and cost-effective way to manage their fluctuating medium to long-term trailer fleet requirements, TIP provides several leasing options:

  • Operating lease – This is off-balance sheet leasing with flexible terms. Operating leases are particularly attractive for high-value assets such as trucks and trailers which are needed to fulfill a specific contract. Lease rates are based on the value of the asset over the period you require it. As a result, you can link lease rates directly to the revenue your asset generates.
  • Finance lease – A finance lease allows you to acquire an asset over time rather than paying for it upfront.  The lease rates are calculated over an agreed term.
  • Sale and leaseback – Under this form of leasing, we will buy your assets at a fair market price and lease these assets back to you for a fixed monthly fee, thereby freeing up your capital for other uses.
  • Additional value-added services available across all our leasing solutions – We can offer replacement vehicles during repairs, maintenance, roadside assistance, fleet and tyre management and telematics for your fleet. We remarket trucks and trailers that are no longer needed.

For more information about TIP trailer rental and leasing, please contact TIP using this form.

How to deal with driver shortage – Part 2

How to deal with driver shortage – Part 2

Previously on TIP: 

Today fewer people want a career as a truck driver. The majority of the current generation of European drivers are over 45 years old and there is an insufficient pipeline of talent to replace them on their retirement. Europe faces a significant shortage of drivers.

How to deal with driver shortage – Part 2

The road transport industry has plenty of ideas and initiatives for solving the driver shortage.

  • Enhancing the imageUnit Cargo advocates turning drivers into “Supply Chain Professionals,” enabled by technology and playing a greater role in providing high-quality customer service. It believes that this transformation might justify better pay and lead to greater job satisfaction. Training drivers to be more technology-savvy could future-proof their livelihoods as the industry transits to autonomous trucks, for which technology skills will be in demand.


The industry needs increasingly to promote truck driving as an interesting career to young people/millennials, in general, to more diverse sections of the population.


  • Better pay – In 2016, in an effort to safeguard the wage levels of French drivers against foreign competition, France passed a law requiring any EU truck company to pay its drivers the French minimum wage whilst delivering in the country. Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Austria have proposed similar laws. (source: Bloomberg)


  • Improving working conditions – There are initiatives at all levels. At an industry level, the UK’s Freight Transport Association campaign illustrates objectives that are deemed to be practical. The FTA is campaigning for:
    • Student style loans for vocational training
    • Better driver facilities
    • Quicker turnaround of medical queries by the Driver and Licensing Agency
    • A campaign to raise awareness of the logistics sector – in partnership with the Department for Education
    • Members to come together to promote the logistics industry and engage with the public.

Truck manufacturers are looking at ways of making truck cabs as comfortable as possible, as a tool in driver retention. An October 2017 Frost & Sullivan report on the North America & Europe Medium-Heavy Truck Seating Systems Market, forecast to 2025, says that “The number of premium seats is expected “to nearly double in the next nine years as fleet managers deploy superior seats to reduce occupational fatigue as a strategy to promote driver retention.”


  • Encouraging women to become truck drivers – Women are an untapped labour force. Only 2-3% of truck drivers in the Netherlands and less than 0.5% in the UK are female. Truck companies are developing trucks that are more suited to women’s needs. (Source: DKV Benelux) Truck driving on routes that enable drivers to return home at night may be more attractive to potential women drivers with or without families. In some US cases, women drivers are being provided with a female mentor (source: Bloomberg)


  • Embracing autonomous truck technology – The advent of autonomous truck technology will represent an opportunity for truck drivers. Bob Biesterfeld, president of North American transportation at C.H. Robinson said: “Autonomous trucks may still need a driver in the cab to make sure nothing goes wrong.” (source: Bloomberg) That said, the role of the truck driver of the future will be different and require greater technical skills than today.

How to deal with driver shortage – Part 2

TIP Trailer Services – an alternative solution

      • Adopting logistics solutions – TIP Trailer Services believes that one approach to addressing the driver shortage issue is to look at current logistics solutions including:
        • 1:2 truck trailer ratios – Running fleets on a 1:1 truck trailer ratio is standard practice at many transport companies. However, it is also worth considering a 1:2 truck trailer ratio, using what is sometimes referred to as a “drop-and-hook distribution” strategy. In this case, drivers drop off one trailer at a delivery dock and then drive away with another loaded trailer. TIP has collaborated with some of its clients to implement this model with great success. Based on this experience, TIP has devised precise calculations which enable fleet managers to deploy their current driver pool with a greater number of trailers.
        • Trailer warehousing – This solution is a variation on the 1:2 truck trailer ratio approach. With trailer warehousing, you spread your own or rented trailers between different warehouse locations so that your drivers can drop off a trailer for unloading at a delivery point and then drive away either with a loaded trailer or to the nearest trailer warehouse on their route to collect a new trailer, either loaded or empty.

With both the 1:2 truck trailer ratio approach and trailer warehouse, drivers can maximize their driving time and earnings by not having to wait around for unloading.

      • Double deck trailers – With double deck trailers, one driver can carry greater loads. There are two types of double-deck trailers:
        • Fixed deck trailers have the highest load capacity, in weight and volume. However, they are only compatible with delivering to stores and warehouses that have external lifts. There is a variant on the fixed deck trailer, one with a tail lift. The tail lift has limited capacity and hence unloading is slow. This variant is best suited to multi-drop routes.
        • Moving deck trailers are very flexible with an upper deck which can be hydraulically lifted up or lowered during loading and delivery. This is a heavier solution than the fixed deck trailer because of the need to include the hydraulic lifting mechanisms. The hydraulics make the powered deck more expensive than the fixed deck. The moving deck trailer is ideal for products which do not double stack and, when loaded on a pallet, do not weigh more than 650 kg in total.


How to deal with driver shortage – Part 2

For more information on how TIP Trailer Services can help your fleet with solutions to driver shortages, please contact us using this form.

TIP will publish in February, Part 3 of this series; with more practical ideas and solutions to cope with the driver shortage. If you do not want to miss our industry news, sign up for the free monthly newsletter.

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How to deal with driver shortage – Part 1

How to deal with driver shortage – Part 1

Today fewer people want a career as a truck driver. The majority of the current generation of European drivers are over 45 years old and there is an insufficient pipeline of talent to replace them on their retirement. Europe faces a significant shortage of drivers.

The challenge

Steve Viscelli, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania and former driver sums up the challenge for fleet managers, commenting “If e-commerce goes up a lot and the introduction of autonomous vehicles is slow and the industry does not shift to millennials, we could see actual [driver] shortages 10 years out.” [source: Bloomberg]

Situation today

According to one report, 6.4 million drivers will be needed across Europe and the USA by 2030 with fewer than 5.6 million expected to be willing to work under “current trucking conditions.”

Why is it difficult to recruit truck drivers?

There are 5 major issues which discourage people from considering a career in truck driving:

  1. Poor image – Movies where the truck driver is the star peaked in the 1970’s with films such as “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Convoy,” and “Duel”. By the 1990’s, there were virtually no “truck-driven” movies. Truck driving has lost its glamour.
  1. Low pay – There is a widespread perception among truck drivers that they are paid too little for their duties and responsibilities considering the hours they work on average. Drivers working for fleets in their native countries typically earn close to the national minimum wage. As an illustration, the average wage for a truck driver in Ireland is €12 per hour, which is the median Irish wage. (source: Bakugls) The Comité National Routier, a transport think-tank funded by the French state, found that the total cost of a driver to employers ranges from 16,000 euros per year for a Bulgarian to 56,000 euros for a Belgian. (source: Bloomberg) In the highly competitive road freight industry, there is significant pressure to increase profit margins. The cost of labour accounts for approximately 35% to 45% of operating costs (source: FleetOwner).
  1. Poor working conditions – The European Union regulates the maximum working week for truck drivers to 56 hours per week. However, in reality, drivers frequently spend much more time on the road and away from home than this as they have to include rest periods. These rest periods are not always compatible with long-distance travel and returning home for recovery. Truck cabs can be cramped and truck stop facilities often lacking, making it difficult for drivers to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  With time away from their families and friends, truck drivers can lead an antisocial existence. Such lifestyle factors make it difficult for fleets to retain existing drivers and attract new ones.
  1. Inadequate provision of training and qualifications – In the UK, the “financial cost of acquiring a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (“DCPC”) was ranked as the greatest barrier to driver recruitment by respondents” in a Freight Transport Association “Transport Manager Survey” in June 2015. This was followed closely by a “Lack of apprenticeship schemes”. The FTA’s Logistics Report 2016 also mentioned that “only around half of those taking the DCPC test, pass it”.

In an EU pilot study entitled “Making the EU transport sector attractive to future generations,” Polish industry experts concluded that training issues discourage potential drivers. They cited “The cost, time-consuming nature and complexity of obtaining necessary qualifications.” Course and exam costs are equivalent to two to three months’ salary in Poland.

  1. Autonomous truck technology – An issue or a solution? A joint report published in May 2017 by four European transport groups including unions and industry associations predicts a 50% to 70% cut in driving jobs in Europe and the USA by 2030, due to this technology. Of the 6.4 million driver jobs expected by 2030, the report found that between 3.4 million and 4.4 million would “become redundant” if driverless trucks are deployed quickly. In addition to autonomous trucks generating cost savings, lower emissions and safer roads, co-spokesperson for the report, José Viegas, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum, said that autonomous trucks will address the “emerging shortage” of professional drivers faced by the trucking industry, particularly in Europe. The report also identifies ways in which governments and the industry can support drivers in the transition to autonomous trucks. (source: FleetOwner)

The arrival of autonomous trucks seems inevitable.  However, the switchover timing is unclear, with projections varying from a few years to a few decades. This uncertainty is unhelpful in terms of recruiting a new generation of truck drivers be they millennials, women or from any other demographic.

How to deal with driver shortage – Practical solutions

Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions that can help you to cope with driver shortage. TIP Trailer Services will share these with you in Part 2: Practical solutions for driver shortage. To make sure you do not miss Part 2, you are invited to subscribe to our newsletter:

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