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Strong growth in freight van numbers

FDM's Rocky Nicotra says online ordering is just one of three main reasons for the level of growth

By Steve Skinner | September 17, 2013

Rocky Nicotra has been around vans for nearly three decades since starting out as a courier driver in a trusty Toyota LiteAce.

Nicotra is general manager of fast-growing national warehousing and distribution company FDM, which relies on a network of agents and their vans for deliveries.

He believes there’s been a strong growth in vans in the wider transport industry, and he boils it down to three main factors.

One is what he describes as the “explosion” in householders ordering goods online.

“The online boom is huge, it’s just growing every day,” Nicotra says.

Nicotra says another factor favouring vans is just-in-time logistics, with businesses not wanting to tie up capital by having inventories of stock hanging around in their own warehouses.

“I would think there would be more vans on the road today purely because companies are ordering less of things, but more frequently, rather than ordering a pallet of goods less frequently,” he says.

A final interesting stimulator of smaller freight vehicles is smaller freight.

“The advent of technology is making things smaller,” Nicotra says.

“In the old days how big was a phone? I used to buy records years ago … we have thumb-drives … computers aren’t as big as they used to be, and so on.”
For more on vans, check out the special supplement in the next issue of ATN.

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