The transport sector in the UK is huge. Just look at our roads any time of the day and you will see that transport is a 24 hour operation.
The air transport sector would include the transportation of goods and people around the UK. Airfreight companies are global bringing overseas goods into the UK. Airfreight companies tend to market themselves via traditional means on the whole. As they are targeting specific niche markets within the B2B industry. All air freight companies have websites. They know who their customers are (as they are the main manufacturers and food producers) so there is a lot of network marketing involved in the sales process.
Since the 1960’s the UK has moved most of it’s goods distribution from the rail onto the roads. This has provided road haulage companies with a great deal of business. Road haulage companies are numerous. They range from the well known brands (such as Eddie Stobart) down to smaller road haulage companies that perhaps have one or two trucks. The pressure is mounding on road transport companies due to rising fuel costs. It is becoming more and more expensive (and bad for the environment) to send goods via road. Road haulage companies tend to market themselves via direct marketing. Through contacting clients directly and then pushing for a distribution contract. They can pick up one off jobs or on-going contracts work millions. Very little transport marketing is via the internet. Transport marketing it is more direct as they are only targeting specific businesses for contracts.
The rail transport sector has suffered as more goods have moved off of the railways and onto the roads. However many rail companies still operate in moving goods, aggregates, building materials and plant machinery around the UK. Most rail transport is for customers rather than freight. Marketing for transport companies encompasses the rail various networks. Rail companies use a variety of transport marketing tools to market their services. This includes web advertising, TV advertising, billboard advertising and advertising within their stations.
Buses and coach companies tend to use a variety of methods to increase brand awareness and draw in new users. The main form that is used is on the actual buses/coaches themselves – as they act as an advert in themselves. Most bus companies around the UK have their own websites and do use the internet to market themselves. However this sector tends to be more visual so they rely on being approached direct by passes by. Taxis and trams (within a few cities in the UK) again rely mainly on being seen as they are providing services. As most customers will use their services on the spur of the moment, it is a case of being in the right place at the right time (as opposed to sending a targeted message and creating brand awareness). Marketing for taxi companies is a very large sector and there are many specialist marketing agencies that can offer this. Around the UK there are a lot of different marketing companies that handle the campaigns for transport companies (from PR campaigns, to website design and development, to lead generation) and they are happy to help to develop a targeted program.
From the many areas of marketing that we cover, not all will be suited to companies within the transport sector. However here are a few that should be considered:
Possibly the first thing you need to consider is having a website. These days websites are essential and for the transport sector are even more so. Bookings can be made on them. Orders can be made on them. Scheduling can be done on them. For this reason, we suggest talking to experienced experts that have done website design in the transport sector before. They will have a good idea of what you need and should be able to deliver exactly what you want within budget.
The heart of your marketing is your brand. Branding for logistics and transport companies is important. It is what sets you apart from your competitors.
PR is a very cost effective form of marketing so will be suited to transport companies of all sorts. Bearing in mind the issues that National Rail face from the media, having close associates is wise. Being able to communicate information quickly is best done to journalists, especially if it is important. If your transport business faces an urgent re-call (like Nissan, Toyota and Honda did in 2020) then having a channel to go through is important. Using a PR agency that has transport media experience is wise as they will already have experienced connections in place to support you.
Finding new business is always a challenge for any business, but since the logistics and transport sector is so competitive, even more so. Using a specialist agency to do telemarketing and lead generation that knows this market is wise. They should be well equipped to get your prospects in place, and to quickly hunt down new sales opportunities for you. Telemarketing for haulage businesses is very popular due to the competitive nature of the market. We do advise using an experienced agency that has done telemarketing for the transport sector.