Con­fi­dence in UK lo­gis­tics sec­tor at five-year high

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE -

CON­FI­DENCE AMONG the UK’s lo­gis­tics sec­tor has im­proved markedly in the past 12 months, re­cov­er­ing to its high­est level in five years.

The tenth edi­tion of the UK Lo­gis­tics Con­fi­dence In­dex 2017 from Bar­clays Cor­po­rate Bank­ing and Moore Stephens, pub­lished to­day, shows the num­ber of lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tors that see busi­ness con­di­tions as more pos­i­tive has risen by 11 per cent in the past year. Four in ev­ery 10 lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tors say they are likely to make an ac­qui­si­tion over the next 12 months.

How­ever op­er­a­tors said they are wait­ing for more clar­ity on the Brexit deal be­fore tak­ing ac­tion.

The sur­vey also shows that al­most half of the com­pa­nies that dis­patch and de­liver goods across the UK feel that busi­ness con­di­tions have be­come more dif­fi­cult in the last year and spe­cific con­cerns around Brexit show a less cheer­ful pic­ture with less than one in ten lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tors say­ing they feel more pos­i­tive about Brexit than they did last year.

Rob Rid­dle­ston, head of trans­port and lo­gis­tics at Bar­clays Cor­po­rate Bank­ing, said: “The con­fi­dence re­ported in this year’s In­dex is re­ally en­cour­ag­ing and demon­strates the re­silience of the sec­tor.

“De­spite a tough en­vi­ron­ment, firms are get­ting on with it. How­ever, as the path ahead be­comes clearer, this busi­ness as usual ap­proach will need to flex.

“The bat­tle to re­tain cus­tomers looks set to be­come more ag­gres­sive, as op­er­a­tors work to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves through in­vest­ment in new tech­nolo­gies and the value added ser­vices that win cus­tomer loy­alty, while the ap­petite to ac­quire, even in the next 12 months, is telling. Both could be­come sig­nif­i­cant threats for those busi­nesses who do not face the chang­ing op­er­a­tional land­scape head-on, and so miss out on tak­ing ad­van­tage of its op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Bol­stered by the De­part­ment of Trans­port’s com­mit­ment to in­vest £8.1m in self-driv­ing truck tri­als, tech­nol­ogy is also help­ing lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies to de­liver staffing ef­fi­cien­cies with one in 10 lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tors say­ing they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing their use.

ROB RID­DLE­STON: Said he was en­cour­aged by the con­fi­dence be­ing shown.

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