For anyone working in the freight industry making a living from transport contracts, freight forwarding or any other related job, membership of an industry body provides a wealth of benefits and a valuable network of business contacts. In the UK, the FTA (Freight Transport Association) is one of the longest established and largest industry associations, and their members operate over 200,000 of the country's lorries. |
What Is the FTA?
The FTA's purpose is to "deliver safe, sustainable and efficient logistics", which they do in a number of ways through representation, training, compliance and campaigning. All these aspects of their service (at a local, national and European level) offer vital support and assistance to independent drivers making a living from road transport contracts and any large companies who deal in the transportation of goods by any means – including sea, rail and air.
Benefits of Membership
As well as providing the peace of mind of association with a respected industry body, the FTA provides the following tangible benefits.
Knowledge and News
The FTA provides regular information to members (emails, newsletters and rolling newsfeeds on the website) with the latest innovations in technology, manufacture and logistics, as well as the latest transport news and updates to legislation. They offer the following free services with membership:
• Telephone advice service for information on any operational or legal issues • Monthly freight magazine covering pertinent industry topics • Copy of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law • Up to date compliance guides • Access to a wide range of other industry information services
Support On and Off the Road
Joining the FTA affords access to an online directory in which members can advertise their services. For the independent operator looking to grow their business by securing more transport contracts, in addition to joining an online freight exchange this can be one of the most effective marketing tools a self-employed driver can make use of.
FTA Recovery is a "pay as you go" vehicle recovery service operated by the AA and offered at reduced rates. As well as fast roadside repairs and towing (within, on average, 30 minutes), the service covers all HGV misfuels.
A Voice and an Ear
One of the most important benefits (particularly for smaller operators) is the opportunity to speak on important industry issues, by taking part in regular e-communications and accessing free briefings on changes to compliance and legislature. The Freight Councils provide a forum for members to speak on a range of topics and to be heard by an audience of peers and industry heavyweights. This offers a genuine opportunity to be a part of change and innovation within the industry. How to Join
The association offers membership at various levels, from "vehicle operators" to "branch membership". The beauty of this is that even self-employed drivers can enjoy the benefits and community offered by such a large association.
Joining is as simple as downloading a form from the website or calling the Service Centre on 03717 11 22 22 to discuss a membership package. Fees are based on the turnover of a business and start at £323.00 per annum.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching drivers with transport contracts. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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