A number of London boroughs and companies are encouraging the replacement of courier vans with freight bikes this Christmas.
A cleaner environment is welcome in our cities and electric versions of the bikes are arriving for those of us not up to pedalling. A start up called Magway are intending to go further, delivering Christmas and much else via underground pipes.
All ideas are welcome to help build a better future, although there seem to be some transport traditions which come with the festive season each year.
Rail cancellations and delays have already begun, with further havoc likely as the week goes on. Rail companies have blamed staff shortages, signalling problems, a landslip, industrial action, infrastructure problems and delayed staff training.
Leaves on the line has been saved for when things get really bad but there might be more hope on the roads. Highways England plan to complete, or lift more than 800 miles of roadworks on motorways and A roads by 20th December.
Political changes have also arrived this Christmas. Most new legislation will have to wait due to the time of year, although one area relevant to the freight industry has changed.
New SRSF Regulations
To improve biosecurity, in mid December the UK implemented regulations which will effect any organisation involved in transporting live animals, animal products, seeds, new cut, or processed timber, plants, or plant products.
Changes derive from the EU Smarter Rules for Safer Food (SRSF) legislation but are intended to continue regardless of Brexit. They will be covered by current, or any future withdrawal agreements, even with a no deal.
The intent is to modernise protection against animal diseases, plant pests and to improve food safety. The new regulations and guidelines are available on the DEFRA section of the goverment portal.
The freight industry works hard during December, to ensure people have all they need to enjoy themselves. Vast numbers of containers come in, although we export sprouts, cheese, candles and whisky, to help other nations celebrate.
An effort which is often recognised by kindness. Ferry companies are offering freight drivers complimentary Christmas dinners, business clients are donating to the many good causes our industry supports.
Much is yet to be decided before next Christmas. Will we be supplying ATA carnets for European visits, more importantly, what will be the position for people.
So many staff in our sector come from the EU and we hope they will always be welcome. In the meantime, we wish them a safe journey if they are dashing home after completing duties and the same to anyone who is travelling, to be with people they cherish.