'It needed a crisis like this to get us truly recognised': Northampton haulage firm boss praises industry for Covid-19 response

The boss of a long-established, family-run Northampton haulage firm has praised the industry's response to the coronavirus pandemic. EM Rogers director Sarah Boyson discussed Covid-19, the 75-year history of the firm and the challenges of attracting women into the industry ahead of the Road Haulage Association's (RHA) National Lorry Week in November. When asked makes her most proud to work in the haulage world, she replied: "I'm extremely proud of how our industry all mucked in together to keep the county fed and sustained during the incredibly challenging Covid-19 pandemic.

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EM Rogers was set up in 1945 and is now an international haulage company

"It is in some respects sad as this is what we always do on a daily basis, but it needed a crisis like this to get us truly recognised. "I hope the efforts the industry made during the pandemic has changed the perception of the public for the better." EM Rogers was established in 1945 by Sarah's grandfather, Edward Rogers, who was originally a farmer, and is now an international business based at Lodge Farm Industrial Estate.

Edward's wife and Sarah's grandmother ran the firm for six years after her husband's death, before her sons, David and John took over. Sarah joined in 2006 before becoming director, where she has a multitude of roles such as HR, projects, marketing, and general operations. "But as a family business we are all involved with running it and will muck in wherever needed.

I've been a member of the RHA for many years," she said. Sarah does not believe there are enough women in the industry - EM Rogers only has one female driver but there are many women in other roles like planning and admin. When asked what her sales pitch for haulage would be, she said: "There is no other industry quite like it.

"There's much more to it than meets the eye and is a very interesting industry to work in. There are many, many different opportunities to explore within it. "Life in the road transport industry is never boring or dull; you'll need to work hard and be prepared to never stop learning.

"The industry will continue to evolve, and you'll need to be able to communicate with people at all levels." The RHA launched National Lorry Week, from November 16 to 22, to champion the vital role the logistics industry plays in everyone's lives and highlight the career opportunities it offers. Two nationwide schools competitions have been launched asking pupils to get creative and win a prize for their schools.

Sarah said: "It is Important for people outside of the industry to recognise what our industry does on a daily basis. "It allows us the opportunity to share what we do, highlight why we are considered an essential industry, and why we were classified as key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond." More than 2.5m people, or one in 12 of the UK's workforce work in logistics - making it the nation's fifth largest employer.

National Lorry Week comes hot on the heels of the RHA's HGV Heroes campaign which celebrated the very best of the industry after logistics staff went above and beyond to keep goods moving during lockdown.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: "This is our opportunity to raise the profile of the haulage and logistics industry in the UK ahead of National Lorry Week in November."

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