Commercial Motor Show 2020 brings industry together in challenging times

This week's virtual Commercial Motor Show was a resounding success, bringing together the entire road transport sector in a three-day online event. From topical webinars, to product launches and competitions, the CM Show had something for everyone. "Army of heroes"

Day one saw a powerful keynote speech from Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Transport, Baroness Vere of Norbiton where she praised industry's resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.  "You are part of an army of heroes who have kept Britain going under extremely difficult conditions. And for that you have my enduring gratitude but more importantly, the gratitude of the whole country."

In response, RHA chief executive echoed her recognition of the hard-working haulage sector, which has always been the "lifeblood" of UK economy. However he urged the government to now support the sector as many businesses have experienced a dramatic downturn in work. "The full impact of the pandemic will not be clear for months if not years but for many road hauliers the consequences have already been catastrophic," Burnett added.

"At the peak of the crisis half of the UK's truck fleet was parked up and much of it remained inactive - waiting for key sectors to be unlocked. "The outlook for these businesses hangs in the balance - there is real risk of widespread failure - if further intervention is not provided." The morning's session continued by exploring what a post-Covid future would look like for industry, with major retail and logistics speakers taking to the virtual stage.

Skills shortage Day two saw the spotlight shine on the ever-pressing challenge of a sector skills shortage facing road haulage businesses. The combination of suspension, during the Covid-19 pandemic, of HGV driving tests and the end of Brexit transition period later this year could see the current 50,000 shortage of trucks drivers start to worsen as the economy recovers.

It also explored the pathway industry is taking to achieve the government's ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Technology gains Day three saw the Commercial Motor Show virtual conference stage chaired by the ever-popular Microlise Conference, with a focus on the role of new technology in boosting operational efficiency, from digital compliance tools to contactless technology - all your technology needs were covered.

Show and tell Over in the exhibition halls, a flurry of activity was taking place on more than 80 virtual stand booths: from electric trucks through to on-board cameras, micro vehicles and digital compliance tools. Brochures were downloaded, interactive live chats, stand competitions, and those all-important new business connections took place, just like they would at a live event.

A rolling programme of unique Tech Talk videos were also launched throughout the show, with the latest product ranges and technology explained.

"We were thrilled with the level of activity that took place across our all areas of this innovative virtual event," said Hayley Pink, events and projects editor at show organiser DVV Media. "The Commercial Motor Show has been received positively by both visitors and exhibitors alike and given industry a much-needed meeting place to share news, product launches and network with business colleagues."

And to round off a packed-three-day programme, delegates were able to sit back and celebrate the industry's high-flyers at the virtual Commercial Motor Awards 2020.

  • If you missed any of the action and would like to watch back any webinars, the CM Awards or browse any virtual exhibition booths, you can still do so until the end of this month simply by registering for free online.

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