Welcome to the 15 December Warehouse & Logistics News. And so this is Christmas, Coalition style – debt crisis in the Eurozone, here austerity cuts, a weak housing market and an imminent VAT rise to 20%.

To make matters worse, the BCC has revised its forecasts for the UK GDP growth in 2011 from September’s 2.2% figure to 1.9%. On the bright side, the British Chambers of Commerce say the economy will grow less than expected in 2011, but growth and hence business activity after that will be better than previously thought.

By the time this comes out large swathes of UK business will be winding down for the Christmas break, but the ‘W&L’ world won’t be ready to stop, by any means. As our readers know well, the supply chain keeps going 365 days a year.

A gritty lot, the warehouse & logistics industry thrives on a challenge. It’s certainly done so in the last twelve months, going on the stories and comments in our Review of The Year, which includes a look back at IMHX 2010.

2010 has been hard going – physically, as in the snows that began it and now look like ending it, and economically, with the continuing national and international economic conditions. But there’s a consensus out there that things are looking up. As reported in our Review, the Fork Lift Truck Association’s David Ellison reckons it could all have been much worse, and most of their members have been able to survive and provide their customers with the same high quality of service as before.

BITA’s James Clark is more restrained, saying 2010 was eventually a year for optimism and encouragement in the forklift industry, as predictions of steady growth were endorsed with increased orders for new forklift trucks. From 2009’s depths of despair with orders at their lowest for nearly 30 years, he says 2010 has been a step in the right direction, albeit a modest one, and 2011 is set to continue in the same vein.

For a more optimistic reading of the industry temperature, look no further than the feedback from IMHX 2010, which we also report on in our Review. November’s incarnation of the industry’s biggest UK exhibition showed, in the organisers’ words, “a buoyant and business-like spirit that reflects the improved economic climate.” Certainly W&LN found the show very rewarding as exhibitors, and we trust everyone else at the show did the same. We enjoyed meeting you all on the stand, too.

Merry Christmas, and see you in 2011.

Warehouse & Logistics News

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