Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Six Transport Industry Concerns Request Government Assistance for UK Logistics

Joint Letter to the Prime Minister Asks for Specific Help to Maintain the Sector
Shipping News Feature

UK – It seems every sector of business is clamouring for assistance from the government as the effect of the pandemic begins to bite, and logistics, which has a vital role to play in ensuring the hospitals stay stocked with PPE and the nation's larders are not bare, is shouting as loud as any.

Six organisations which lie at the heart of the transport industry have jointly composed a letter sent to the Prime Minister laying out five key requests to make life easier for the thousands charged with keeping society ticking over. These are:

  • A business rates ‘holiday’ for all hauliers’ sites to bring them into line with other sectors and reduce fixed costs
  • Weekly SORN refunds to help firms reduce standing costs and enable them to bring fleets back online quicker than current monthly model
  • Immediate grants and debt support for struggling firms
  • Fuel duty rebate for essential users to reduce burden on cashflows
  • A weekly furlough model to improve flexibility, reduce costs and ensure staff remain available

The signatories to the letter are: Cold Chain Federation’s CEO Shane Brennan; British Association of Removers Director General Ian Studd); Paul Sanders Chairman of the Association of Pallet Networks; Kevin Richardson the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport CEO; the Transport Association’s Chairman Nigel Evans and the Road Haulage Association’s CEO Richard Burnett.

The letter can be read in full HERE and Richard Burnett warned that, unheeded, government inaction could result in wide scale business collapses reducing logistics capacity by as much as 50%. A recent RHA survey found that 46% of the UK’s truck fleet is not operating and 25% of drivers, already in short supply, are furloughed. He commented:

“At this time of national emergency our sector is doing everything it can to ensure critical supplies get to where they need to be. We recognise that we need to play the fullest role possible in the UK’s recovery and these measures would ensure we can do just that.”

Photo: Research indicates almost half of Britain’s lorry fleet is parked up.