Despite the many problems brought by the pandemic the logistics sector in the UK has stayed resilient and managed to improve its activity. The latest Covid-19 report by Logistics UK examined what happened with the industry. Sarah Watkins, Logistics UK’s General Manager of Policy Information, shares the main points.
What are the main findings of the report?
The current crisis has highlighted how critical our industry and its people are, from those engaged in delivering food or medical supplies – and indeed vaccines – to those ensuring the provision of key infrastructure and goods, whether for hospitals, business or homes.
And, as the report highlights, despite 85% of respondents to Logistics UK’s COVID-19 surveys reporting a general business downturn in March 2020 – later reduced to 60% by the end of May 2020 – the logistics industry successfully stepped up to service the needs of the nation.
Do you believe the logistics industry will be able to quickly recover?
Much about this pandemic is unpredictable however, the report has shown encouraging signs with many figures improving from those at the start of lockdown. For example, respondents to Logistics UK’s COVID-19 survey reported in April 2020 that 12.7% of vans were parked up, however in October 2020, this was reduced to only 0.5% of the fleet.
2020 was no doubt a challenging year and with the pandemic remaining a key focus as we begin 2021, the logistics industry will continue to rise to the occasion, and ensure the nation remains stocked with the goods it needs.
What were the main challenges faced by the industry and how did it cope with them?
Some of the main challenges faced were as a result of downturn in business however, the industry is resilient and businesses adapted to diversify where possible, scale back operations, reduce their reliance on third party services and focus activity on their core fleet of vehicles.
What are the positive signs from the report?
The report shows that car traffic has reduced by 15% compared to pre-lockdown levels resulting in a positive impact on road congestion and delivery times. This is very encouraging, and Logistics UK is calling for freight to be considered when re-assessing road space allocation as traffic levels return to pre-pandemic levels. ✷