TBOOCV-19: Will goodwill towards freight transport last beyond Covid-19?

In the last of our current series of Trucking Britain out of Covid-19 surveys, we asked if operators expect the surge of goodwill towards the logistics industry will last beyond the pandemic.

Turners Group
Paul Day
MD

Coverage: UK national.

Main business sectors: Temperature controlled, containers, tankers and general haulage for transport and temperature controlled warehousing and packing services.

The food sector continues to be buoyant. Container sector is quite strong at the moment but it is volatile. Building sector has recovered well although activity remains around 5% below pre Covid levels. General haulage has also recovered quite well. Fuel sector remains well below pre Covid-19 – aviation very badly impacted and general road fuels down 13%.

                                                                           1 August       26 August
Trucks on the fleet                                         2,031            2,067
Percentage laid up                                         n/a                2.5%
Drivers employed                                          2,348            2,387
Percentage on furlough/flexi furlough     6%                 3%

Nine staff made redundant in August.

When do you expect volumes to return to pre-Covid-19 levels?

The economy has recovered quicker than I expected and appears to still be growing.

Short term, the remainder of 2020, I expect the improvement trend to continue but I think it will flatten out at around 95% to 97% of pre Covid-19 levels. I remain cautious about 2021 when the positive impacts of the various government schemes to assist business and the economy are removed.

I think it may take several years for the economy to reach pre-Covid-19 levels.

Do you think the government did enough to help the road freight transport industry specifically through the lockdown? What other measures would you liked to have seen to support the industry?

I feel the government has been slightly too generous overall but the economy is recovering faster than it may have done without the full help given. Realistically the government couldn’t have done any more without long term debt increasing even further.

Do you think the goodwill among the general public towards the transport industry will last beyond the pandemic or will it quickly be taken for granted again?

I suspect goodwill towards our industry will be short lived, we have to keep working on our image and the perception the public has.

Cullimore Group
Moreton Cullimore
MD

Coverage: UK, but predominantly the Midlands and South West.

Main business sectors: Transport and general haulage, aggregate supply and ready mixed concrete.

Small increase in volumes in August, but from a reduced figure in first place.

                                                                           1 August      26 August
Trucks on fleet                                                60                60
Percentage laid up                                         40%             25%
Drivers employed                                           50                50
Percentage on furlough/flexi furlough      50%             30%

Redundancy process has begun with small number of staff but no confirmation yet.

When do you expect volumes to return to pre-Covid-19 levels?

Impossible to tell. There are signs of improvement but I fear the winter months.

Do you think the government did enough to help the road freight transport industry specifically through the lockdown? What other measures would you liked to have seen to support the industry?

I think they did some good, but I think they looked at the sector too much as a whole and don’t understand the sub categories in the sector and have therefore underestimated the support for parts of the sector gravely. CBILS does not work for a small margin industry and they could have done better specifically for this industry.

Do you think the goodwill among the general public towards the transport industry will last beyond the pandemic or will it quickly be taken for granted again?

I hope understanding will be better with the education happening right now and hopefully with the national lorry campaign over coming weeks the RHA are doing. I do worry like with anything our memories will be short lived in the future which is why we need to take every opportunity now.

Caledonian Logistics
Derek Mitchell
MD

Coverage: Four DCs cover half of Scotland including islands. Distance division covers mainland UK.

Main business sectors: Pallet distribution, general goods, food products and storage services.

Pallet distribution and full load work saw a slight increase in August of around 5% to 10%.

                                                                                 1 August  26 August
Trucks on fleet                                                      74             74
Percentage laid up                                                0               0
Drivers employed                                                 89             89
Percentage on furlough/flexi furlough             8%           8%

No staff made redundant in August.

Volumes have already returned to pre-Covid levels.

Do you think the government did enough to help the road freight transport industry specifically through the lockdown?

Yes their help was good for our industry, both furlough and road tax reductions.

Do you think the goodwill among the general public towards the transport industry will last beyond the pandemic or will it quickly be taken for granted again?

We will be taken for granted, people do not realise the impact transport industry has on their day to day lives relative to the amount of product we deliver.

Freightlink Europe Freight Train/Freight People
Lesley O’Brien
Partner

Coverage: UK national.

Main business sectors: General haulage transport operator predominantly serving the import and export community.

                                                                             1 August       26 August
Trucks on fleet                                                  24                  27
Percentage laid up                                           0                     0
Drivers employed                                            24                   27
Percentage on furlough/flexi furlough        0                    0

No staff made redundant in August.

Our freight levels are currently exceeding pre-Covid-19 levels.

Do you think the government did enough to help the road freight transport industry specifically through the lockdown? What other measures would you liked to have seen to support the industry?

Whilst bounceback loans/CBILS have been appreciated, these are loans and require paying back. With operators working on small margins, the query is whether a payback will be possible and whether we are simply delaying an inevitable problem for the industry.

Do you think the goodwill among the general public towards the transport industry will last beyond the pandemic or will it quickly be taken for granted again?

I would very much like to think that goodwill and appreciation of the transport industry would be evident post Covid-19. Those who appreciate and understand the industry are in the minority. Regrettably I believe that the norm will return to be an expectation that goods will simply appear on supermarket shelves, with no care of how it happens unless of course there is another crisis that brings the importance of our industry to the forefront.

The post TBOOCV-19: Will goodwill towards freight transport last beyond Covid-19? appeared first on Motor Transport.

In the last of our current series of Trucking Britain out of Covid-19 surveys, we asked if operators expect the surge of goodwill towards the logistics industry will last beyond the pandemic. Turners Group Paul Day MD Coverage: UK national. Main business sectors: Temperature controlled, containers, tankers and general haulage for transport and temperature controlled warehousing and packing services. The food sector continues to be buoyant. Container sector is quite strong at the moment but it is volatile. Building sector […]
The post TBOOCV-19: Will goodwill towards freight transport last beyond Covid-19? appeared first on Motor Transport.Read More

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