Greetings in this time of exceptional logistics challenges, in which the smallest of organisms have caused the greatest upset on logistics. Be you in the commercial property sector, storage and any forms of transport, the Corona virus has the potential to reshape these sectors permanently.
Take, for example, the FTA’s response to the Government’s announcement that it will work with local authorities to extend the hours in which deliveries can be made to ensure shops remain stocked with essential items amid stockpiling concerns. The FTA welcomes the Government’s response but for several years they have been urging the Government to enable restrictions to be relaxed on night-time deliveries. “We hope this temporary measure will soon be considered for permanency, said an FTA spokesperson. Benefits from such a policy could see less road congestion and accidents and so improved air quality through reduced gas emissions.” The downside, of course, is the night-time noise for local residents, and while all-electric vehicles would help with that concern, that is years away, so good luck with that, FTA.
A far lesser challenge is revealed in an opinion piece from Gotelee Solicitors which deals with the implications of the Government’s introduction of a points-based system for immigrant applications. It will limit the number of low-skilled workers moving to the UK, and industries such as transport, food processing and warehousing will be left dealing with a shortage of vital workers, where there is already a shortage of HGV drivers and forklift truck and van drivers, and it is unlikely to be helped much by raising wages in these margin-thin industries, or by automation implies Gotelee.
As explained in our multi-modal feature, not putting all your eggs in one basket is still a lesson to be learned, which becomes particularly painful when corporations have not learned that other lesson of not building in resilience to combat the major risk of JIT deliveries. Countries like China and Japan have long been a choke point for many industries but at last it seems that other South-East Asian countries, like Vietnam, will help to diversify supply chain sources. And in time business disrupters like 3D and 4D printing will help boost the re-shoring of outsourced production to the Far East back to Western markets.
Back in Britain there is good news over plans to galvanize up to 125 cargo ports, with ambitions for many freeports and an improved infrastructure. To learn more, check out the feature section.
In our commercial vehicle section we touch on how a new initiative will shift more goods from road to rail. Project ‘Orion’ is a feasible solution aimed at the light goods, parcel freight and e-commerce market, forecast to hit 4.6 bn items this year. It would have a benign effect on the environment so why not find out more. Meanwhile, the perennial state of the county’s roads remains a sore point with the FTA and one that harms the environment. “More investment is needed urgently and we hope for… completion of a more comprehensive strategy”, said the FTA.
There is, however, good news on a more sustainable road transport system through a switch to alternative fuels to diesel and petrol, with electric in the van. As mentioned in our front cover story, En-Vico is a new kid on the block pushing truck and van conversions to all-electric with the help of Slovakian partner, Voltia. Well suited to the last-mile deliveries market, the van range will accommodate up to 8 m3 of loads.