Fifty years after Ford first introduced the Transit, commercial vans still make a significant and growing economic contribution, according to a new study.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) report shows that van-dependent businesses contributed £415 billion to the major economies of France, Germany, and Britain in 2014 – including £120 billion to the UK economy, an increase of 16 per cent compared with 2010.
The report highlights continuing growth in usage, driven by transport for online shopping and newly-created businesses in trades such as painting, plumbing and plastering; and ongoing demand from traditional van-based industries like building, maintenance/repair, utilities and transport.
The rapid growth of online commerce has contributed to a continuing increase in the number of working vans, evidenced by Ford van registrations tracking more than 27 per cent up on a year ago.
Van sales and usage have also been boosted by the birth of many new small businesses, in the UK especially, following the financial crisis. Construction trades such as painting, plastering and plumbing have shown rapid growth, with more than 24,000 new businesses established in 2013, 30 per cent more than in 2010.
The CEBR – which produces reports for the UK government – reveals major economic benefits from van usage extends beyond the direct business impact, such as through the tax contribution to public finances. In the UK, van drivers covered 64 billion miles last year, up by 20 per cent compared with 2008, generating more than £5 billion in fuel duty.