Logistics investment falls for second quarter in a row

Manchester, UK: Business investment in logistics, haulage and warehousing has fallen for the second quarter in a row, according to the latest ONS data.

“The pain being felt in the logistics industry has been underlined by two consecutive quarters of negative business investment, according to the latest ONS data that covers the sector,” says business tax relief specialist, Catax.

“The data suggests the logistics and warehousing sector, together with other areas of transport, could be weathering the after-effects of the pandemic, including an acute absence of drivers, by disposing of assets they can’t use while second-hand asset prices remain high.” Catax says.

The ONS business investment statistics are an indication of ​​net capital expenditure by UK businesses, which includes spending on items such as plant and machinery, transport equipment, software and buildings.

The transport and storage classification also includes rail freight, air cargo and other transport services such as passenger air transport.

“This year’s statistics represent a marked change on 2020. The sector closed out last year with business investment of £2.9bn in Q4, having reached £3.4bn in the final quarter of 2019, just before the pandemic began. The record high for the logistics sector was set in Q4 2010 when it peaked at £6.8bn,” Catax says.

“The sector’s performance is a far cry from that of the UK overall. Overall business investment nationally rose 4.5% in the second quarter of 2021 compared with the first quarter of the year, and grew 12.9% on an annual basis2. 

By comparison, UK GDP increased by 5.5% in Q2 — leaving it 3.3% below where it was pre-pandemic (Q4 2019)3.

Mark Tighe, chief executive, Catax, said: “The logistics sector is having to navigate its way through a nightmare scenario of extremely high demand and crippling labour and supply shortages. 

“At a time of severe stress, many providers are clearly battening down the hatches and trying to put the asset wealth they have to good use.”

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