Bell tolls for EU hauliers

The economic respite for the transport industry will be cut short for UK hauliers who travel through the EU due to increasing toll charges. Eurocrats announced yesterday plans to increase toll charges by 30 per cent to help combat noise and air pollution.

Algirdas Šemeta, EU Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union to the European Tax Policy Forum and Centre for European Policy Studies, stated, “Our objective is less about introducing a new tax than about restructuring energy taxation.”

UK Hauliers who operate in Europe are already charged a 18p per kilometre as part of EU law, however European transport companies are not charged for using UK roads.

Kate Gibbs of the Road Haulage Association said: “This will just be horrendous. We have to pay tolls when we go to Europe, but their lorry drivers don’t when they come here, as well as more in petrol and diesel tax.

“Hauliers are already operating at the very tightest possible margins. A 30 per cent rise in toll charges is too big to absorb. Consumers will see it passed on as the cost of all goods in all shops will rise.”

These costs will likely have a knock on effect on the wider public; critics have argued this would increase the price of food and other imported goods.

Ice cold eco

This absolute beast is making headlines as the custom truck taking on the land speed record for reaching the South Pole. The previous record of 2 days 21 hours and 21 minutes is the time to beat for the team sponsored by Thomson Reuters. Their success depends on the Polar Performance Vehicle, which has been specifically designed for the challenge.

The truck has been built by the Artic Trucks of Iceland, responsible for the customised Toyota that was featured in the Polar Special episode on Top Gear. Whilst it seems to be cut from the same cloth, it’s the trucks green credentials that make it truly unique. The trucks packs a 4.0 litre V6 with 340hp, capable of running on a yet to be revealed bio-fuel. If for any reason the engine dies the truck can then make use of solar cells and a wind-powered generator to pick up the slack.

The Shiply team wishes them Godspeed!

Financial support for London’s white van men

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced the introduction of a van exchange scheme, with the backing of several van manufacturers, ahead of the planned changes to the Low Emission Zone next year. Citroën, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Volkswagen are all taking part in the scheme and will be offering reductions as incentives to upgrade to their greener, more efficient fleets.

Beginning Jan 3, 2012, those who drive older commercial vehicles that do not meet the requirements of the stricter emissions standard will be subject to a hefty fee. A daily fee of £100 will be charged along with a potential £500 penalty.

In his typically bombastic style, Boris remarked,  that vans were the lifeblood of London: “Their drivers are knights of the road, an army of entrepreneurs who decorate our homes, fix our plumbing, and generally provide all the vital goods and services essential to the smooth running of our city.” He went on to say, “This noble bunch is mostly small business owners and independent traders who are focused on grafting hard to support their families and build a better future.

“The vast majority of people who are affected by these new changes have upgraded their vehicles and need not take any action but for those remaining people I know these are difficult times and that their vehicles are essential for their livelihoods.”

Do you currently own a older commercial vehicle in London, if so, how soon are you looking to exchange to a newer model – if at all?

You can find out whether your vehicle is affected by the new LEZ standards here.

Will and Kate push the envelope

If it isn’t commemorative crockery, it’s Royal top trumps – you cannot move for Will and Kate related merchandise as the Royal Wedding looms closer. Keen to get in on the action, the Royal Mail will be issuing commemorative stamps of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The formal picture was taken in the Council Chamber of St James’s Palace in London and the “informal” image shows the couple in the Palace’s Cornwall room.
“We are honored to be celebrating this very special and historic occasion,” said the Royal Mail’s Stephen Agar. “We believe that that this set of stamps will be very popular with people both in the U.K. and around the world.”
You can bang down the doors of you local Post Office on April 21st, 8 days before the Royal Wedding. Plenty of time to send post to your jealous friends across the globe.

Shiply celebrates 500,000th listing!

If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s a Monday morning the Shiply team may have cracked open a bottle of champers to celebrate reaching our massive milestone of 500,000 listings. We are ecstatic to have reached such a large number of listings within such a short amount of time, since our launch in June 2008.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to all the transport providers and users who have used Shiply to make it what it is today.

It won’t be too long before we’re all celebrating the millionth!

Thanks again, from everyone at Shiply.