Haulage jobs are just one of the many transport industry sectors that are being affected by the rapid rise of ‘micro-multinationals’. |
What are they and why is their effect being felt so widely?
Go back 5-10 years and the word ‘Multinational’ might bring several images to mind.
Perhaps they might include vast, prestigious office HQ complexes, private jets, executive limousines, expense accounts, mega-budgets and a cast of tens if not hundreds of thousands. That image is no doubt still true for some multinationals, but it’s no longer exclusive to all scenarios. That’s because of the rise of the so-called ‘Micro-Multinationals’.
These are typically SME’s (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) that have discovered that the world today really is global. Technology and, to some extent, cheaper travel have both contributed to the realisation that even small companies - sometimes down to the level of sole traders - can now recruit staff and run operations in other countries to supplement their own national activities.
You no longer need a multi-million dollar budget to get people overseas to work for you and ship your product (or theirs) between your two or more locations. This has led to an explosive growth of SME’s who now have operations and a base in one or more other national locations apart from their own.
What does this mean for haulage jobs?
Increased Overseas Trade
In the 1970s, a typical UK manufacturer might have typically focussed on the domestic market.
Manufacturing overseas might have been difficult or impossible and for many, unthinkable. Selling overseas was equally difficult. By and large, the whole area was considered to be the reserve of global giant companies.
Today though, neither of these things hold true. A very small company can be based in the UK and manufacture some of their items here. They can then set up another manufacturing facility with a few employees overseas – easily and cheaply. They can also open sales and marketing operations overseas electronically, including recruitment and mobilisation. Many very small UK companies are doing exactly that and without ever physically leaving the UK.
Inevitably though, this huge growth in the new Micro-Multinationals will mean that more physical goods and raw materials will be moving around internationally, and that can only be good news for those working haulage jobs.
Together with this opportunity, however, come some challenges when it comes to haulage jobs. A large Multinational might traditionally have shifted very large quantities between its various locations. That’s fine for full loads and large part-loads etc.
However, Micro-Multinationals might be shipping far smaller quantities and that means a higher demand for groupage services. As people in the business will know, while groupage loads are typically lucrative, they do place an additional strain on a transport company’s logistical services and the administrative overhead.
Even so, few within the haulage industry will see the rise of the Micro-Multinationals as anything other than good news and potentially a major boost to their overseas haulage business.
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 haulage jobs with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Related Articles -