This is a huge sector embracing businesses and services in anything to do with moving people or goods around. Transport of goods usually comes under ‘logistics’ and that can be by air, ship, truck (lorry if you prefer!) and even canal. Transport of people concerns travel by bus and coach, air, rail or water.
Within these categories contracts offer opportunities for operators and service organisations supporting them – primarily maintenance but also branding, vehicle livery markings and of course catering.
So it is a huge sector and so far we haven’t mentioned the infrastructure. Transport infrastructure consists of the built installations of canals, waterways, airways, railways, roads and terminals, as well as pipelines, refuelling depots, trucking terminals, warehouses, bus stations, railway stations, airports and seaports.
So this is a BIG topic and sector, or rather conglomeration of sectors. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) states that “Transport is vital to the proper functioning of economic activities and a key to ensuring social well-being and cohesion of populations. Transport enables the everyday mobility of people and is crucial to the production and distribution of goods. Adequate infrastructure is a fundamental precondition for transport systems.”
Facing up to some of the challenges that arise in transport, UNECE goes on to state that “In their endeavour to facilitate transport, however, decision-makers in governments and international organisations face difficult challenges. These include the existence of physical barriers or hindrances, such as insufficient or inadequate transport infrastructures, bottlenecks and missing links, as well as lack of funds to remove them. Solving these problems is not an easy task. It requires action on the part of the governments concerned, actions that are coordinated with other governments at international level.”
A few examples of these challenges are:
1) Local bus transport being badly affected by traffic congestion where local authorities choose not to introduce bus priority schemes;
2) Continuing prevarication in improving the M3/A303 route to the southwest, a badly needed alternative to the M5;
3) The need for clean successors to diesel-powered vehicles whether that be electric or using hydrogen;
3) The fragility of the Great Western mainline in Devon – when it’s cut off by the sea, South Devon and Cornwall are marooned; and
4) Changes in lifestyle and travel patterns resulting from Covid19 – more working from home, less commuting, redundant office space.
The contract opportunities for the above are huge in number; the Bidstats website reports 141 Transport Contracts posted in the last month alone. These concern pretty well every businesss one way or another.
Next time we’ll take a look at some in more detail.