Logistics industry pleads for state help

London, UK: The Cold Chain Federation, along with five other organisations including the Road Haulage Association, is pleading with the government to do more to save thousands of logistics firms that face ruin as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett set out a series of measures to help firms get through the pandemic and into the recovery phase including: grant funding, a fuel duty rebate and improvements to furlough rules.

Burnett warned that with no further government action, a predicted widescale business collapse could reduce logistics capacity by as much as 50%.

He said this would probably make it impossible for the sector to meet demand to fuel the economy’s recovery effort.

“At this time of national emergency our sector is doing everything it can to ensure critical supplies get to where they need to be,” said Burnett.

“We recognise that we need to play the fullest role possible in the UK’s recovery and these measures would ensure we can do just that.”

A recent RHA survey found that 46% of the UK’s truck fleet is not operating and 25% of drivers are furloughed.

The letter calls for five key measures to support the industry:

• Business rates ‘holiday’ for all hauliers’ sites to bring them into line with other sectors and reduce fixed costs
• Weekly Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) refunds to help firms reduce standing costs and enable them to bring fleets back online quicker than current monthly model
• Immediate grants and debt support for struggling firms
• Fuel duty rebate for essential users to reduce burden on cashflows
• A weekly furlough model to improve flexibility, reduce costs and ensure staff remain available

The letter signatories are:

  • Road Haulage Association (Richard Burnett)
  • Cold Chain Federation (Shane Brennan)
  • British Association of Removers (Ian Studd)
  • Association of Pallet Networks (Paul Sanders)
  • Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Kevin Richardson)
  • Transport Association (Nigel Evans)


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