Welcome to the July edition of Logistics Insight magazine, the quarterly in-depth look at the logistics industry. In this issue we focus on commercial vehicles, the air, sea and rail freight sector plus we report on the industrial property sector.
Since our last edition, the logistics sector has shown great resilience during a period of upheaval and enormous challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Normally, we would have had dedicated guides to the CV Show and Multimodal, however due to the pandemic, this year’s shows have been cancelled, but we look forward to attending both shows in 2021.
The industry has also showed a willingness to contribute to the greater good, bringing help where it is most needed. Heathrow Airport, for example, has donated 16,000 face masks to NHS personnel since the start of the outbreak. The airport has also donated 70 laptops to local primary schools, ensuring children have not missed out on their education during the lockdown. Heathrow has developed online educational resources for teachers and parents to support home schooling for those who may not be returning to class. Through these resources, students can design an airport terminal, learn about the airport’s history, test their knowledge of geography, and see what it’s like to work in cargo or communications at the airport.
Now that lockdown is beginning to ease, with more shops and some pubs open, the logistics industry, which directly impacts more than seven million people employed throughout the supply chain, has welcomed the news. Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at FTA, said: “Logistics enables all economic, as well as social, activity and health services and the closure of hospitality, retail and leisure companies has had a significant impact on the sector, and thus the economy as a whole. We stand ready to assist in driving productivity back up to pre-pandemic levels, to help the revival of the UK’s businesses, while ensuring that our own workers are able to operate safely and effectively under new social distancing regulations.”
Less welcome is the news that the London Congestion Charge has increased, hitting logistics businesses at a time when they had already suffered financially from the pandemic – 76% of respondents to FTA’s industry survey reported a general business downturn. Logistics firms had worked tirelessly to deliver food, medical supplies and other essential items to the capital during the pandemic. The suspension of the Congestion Charge back in March had been most welcome but now the industry is disappointed by the significant hike.
One event which will still be going ahead is the Talent in Logistics Annual Conference, a fully digital one-day event taking place on Wednesday 23rd September. Putting people at the heart of logistics operations will be the focus of the conference. The agenda has been curated to focus on the areas that will provide the most guidance and inspiration to employers for the uncertain times ahead, where the industry will continue to rely on its talented people.
Until next time, we salute the logistics industry for the endurance showed in these last months. Enjoy reading the magazine.