Industry Intelligence & Blog

ByThe Transport Intel Insider

Industry Results Round Up February 2020: –

https://motortransport.co.uk/blog/category/news/operator/

Industry Results Round Up February 2020: –

In a fast changing year, the positives outweigh the negatives in in the early part of 2020. A study completed by the Hitachi Bank suggests the year will be a good one for SME within the industry.

Going Well: –

  • Cheshire-based Boughey Distribution is to open a new 237,734 sq ft warehouse at Crewe Commercial Park which will create around 100 new jobs for the local area
  • Boughey Distribution bounced back into the black last year, converting a £754,000 pre-tax loss into a profit of £310,000.
  • Walker Logistics, experienced a 38% year-on-year increase in the number of orders at its Berkshire hub in Berkshire during the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • C Butt Logistics has remained in profit for the second year running after turning its back on the retail logistics sector.
  • Fergytrux, the Cramlington-based holding company of Fergusons Transport, increased turnover by 2.2% last year, thanks to performance improvements and Brexit stockpiling.
  • North Wales-based logistics company Delivery Solutions (Delsol) has reported a year of sustained growth. The company added 30 staff to its now 170-strong workforce during 2019 – its 20th anniversary – which coincided with a 20% increase in revenues.
  • The Pallet Network (TPN) saw the number of member companies achieving elite performance levels grow by 300% during 2019.

Facing Challenges: –

  • Fagan & Whalley pocketed a £521,000 profit last year, but it was a significant reduction compared to the previous year’s £1.3m.
  • Premier Logistics (UK) made a £2m loss in the months following its company voluntary agreement (CVA), according to its most recent financial results.
  • Online grocer Ocado is continuing to suffer from the fire which destroyed its Andover depot last year, reporting a pre-tax loss of £214.5m for 2019.
  • Marks and Spencer is to close two major distribution centres in Derbyshire and Sheffield, putting 662 jobs at risk.

In Administration: –

  • Carters Haulage in Hertfordshire has entered administration and ceased trading.
  • A pre-packaged sale of Staffordshire haulier Pro Freight Solutions took place following the high-profile collapse into administration of its customer, The Book People.

Acquisitions/Partnerships: –

  • The Pallet Network (TPN) has announced the addition of Bristol-based Toogood International Transport to its line-up. 
  • EV Cargo Logistics has acquired ‘specific assets and operations’ of NFT Distribution.
  • The sale of NFT Distribution Operations to EV Cargo Logistics does not include the firm’s Tilbury refrigerated distribution centre, it has emerged.
  • Widnes-based Suttons Tankers is on the look-out for further acquisitions as it gears up its growth plans, according to MD Michael Cundy.
  • The new owner of Clugston Distribution Services is linked to Malta-based HLD Group which bought AM Widdowson and Sons in 2015 and Crewe-based Davis Haulage in 2016.
  • Pall-Ex has purchased the pallet distribution business of Surrey-based member Cranleigh Freight Services.

Miscellaneous: –

  • Hermes is set to build a £60m automated parcel distribution centre in Barnsley as its parcel volumes continue to rise.
  • NHS logistics (NHL) lorry drivers have called off a dispute with their employer Unipart after it offered an improved pay deal.
  • Strike action could be on the cards among Biffa drivers on the Wirral after negotiations over pay reached a stalemate.
ByThe Transport Intel Insider

IR35 Summed Up in less than 250 Words

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-employment-status-for-tax

The clock is counting down as the HMRC closes the net on the many thousands of self-employed workers facing higher tax bills after April 6th.

IR35 has been around since 1999, but changes in legistlation closes the tax loopholes of individuals, their clients and umbrella companies if implicated.

In that guise, individuals could decide whether they fell under IR35. In 2017, public companies had to decide,  come April 6th, it is the time for private contractors/umbrella companies to decide.

Changes are expected to bring in £3.1 billion of additional tax revenues over the next 4 years alone.

The transport sector expect agency labour payroll costs to rise by 25% and temporary drivers costs will increase to clients by 20%.

Businesses that meet at least two of the following criteria are unaffected by the changes: –

  • Turnover of less than £10.2m a year
  • Balance sheet assets of less than £51m.
  • Companies with fewer than 50 employees

For contractors doing work with these smaller companies, the rules remain the same – it is up to the individual to decide whether they fall under IR35.

Sole Traders are unaffected by the upcoming changes as sole traders are exempt from IR35 legislation.

“However, if your working hours are decided by someone else and you can be told what tasks you’re working on, where you’ll be working, and how you should work, then you may well fall under the ‘disguised employee’ banner, and therefore could be seen as being inside IR35.”

ByThe Transport Intel Insider

Garlic Bread? It’s the future!

For some it was fireworks and auld lang syne for celebration, for others, a dawn of uncertainty tinged with sadness.

Paul Thompson Freight Ltd Expert Same Day Deivery
The author does not represent the views of PTF Ltd.

TransportIntel considered Muesli or Porridge as he listened with interest to the Brexit experts on 5Live Wedensday (29th Jan) morning.

They were quick to point out “absolutely nothing changes this year….other than the UK could extend the transition period up to June”.

The first concerned caller was going to Tenerife in March and wanted to know what do they do now?  

“absolutely nothing changes this year….other than the UK could extend the transition period up to June”.

Caller 2 was more concerned about the impact of her annual trip to Turkey by car….

“absolutely nothing changes this year….other than the UK could extend the transition period up to June”.

Breakfast host Rachel was quick to point out that important points were worth repeating.

Caller 3 was going to Bruges in February, only a few weeks away and close to the very heart of EU’s HQ, what preparations should he now make when taking a risky trip so close to the scene of the crime?  

“absolutely nothing changes this year….other than the UK could extend the transition period up to June”.

TransportIntel consigned the Muesli to the bin – thinking porridge may be bland, but you know where you are with those trusty oats.

Just like we know what we are doing with Brexit.

Learn what a No Deal could mean to your business

https://www.gov.uk/transition

Register for a UK or EU EORI number

https://www.gov.uk/eori

Agree Incoterms with your customers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incoterms

Know how to describe and classify your goods

https://www.gov.uk/starting-to-export?step-by-step-nav=9be67e23-bd76-4d60-b6e1-66e0dce5965aKnow how to complete commercial invoices and apply for licences and certificates if needed

https://www.gov.uk/starting-to-export/licences

Submit your commercial invoice electronically

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/international-trade-paperwork-the-basics

Understand customs & clearance requirements

https://www.gov.uk/starting-to-export/licences

Importers should consider setting up a Deferment Account

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/setting-up-an-account-to-defer-duty-payments-when-you-import-goods

ByThe Transport Intel Insider

The Acceleration of Green Initiatives in the Industry.

The dog “eating the homework again” excuse was wearing thin with Greta’s teacher.

Davos Summit took place this week with Global leaders of influence all present along with Greta Thunberg skipping school again.

With recent Global phenomenon in Australia, New Zealand and Italy has even the most hardened Global Warming deniers having to take stock and start listening to Greta & Sir David Attenborough.

There is clear momentum in the industry, with the below aspects all being reported by Government, Regions, operators, retailers and manufacturers alike in the last few weeks.

The problem being everyone is blazing their own trail. With varying degrees of investment and motivation.

Are we all pulling in the same direction?

What could be achieved if our thinking was joined up?

Government: –

The UK government has vowed to accelerate its climate action for transport sector by drafting new plans to end emissions from trains, planes and cars to become the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050.

Industry Associations: –

Only the RHA is calling on the government to set out a national road map to decarbonise freight over the next 25 years which respects vehicle life cycles and supports business investment.

Logistics operators are among the first to identify the benefits of switching to electric vehicles (EVs), according to FTA, with nine out of ten operators who are already using EVs planning to expand their fleets within the next three years. However, according to a new report from FTA, released today (15 January 2020), further expansion will require the government to urgently address the limitations which prevent wider adoption across the UK’s fleet.

On the 30th December 2019, FTAlaunched its 2019 Logistics Emissions Review, which includes the latest results of the Logistics Emissions Reduction Scheme (LERS), a voluntary group which seeks to improve the environmental performance of the logistics industry. During the past year, LERS members achieved an impressive 4% reduction in their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and decreased their average kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per vehicle km to 0.72, from 0.75 in 2017 and 2016.

Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.   

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has claimed hydrogen is the best alternative fuel option for HGV operators looking to cut carbon emissions and will play a major role in the future of heavy haulage.

Regional Actions: –

A £2 congestion charge for drivers is being proposed in Cardiff as part of a £2bn, 10-year transport plan.

Cardiff council plans to charge non-residents in a bid to hit green targets and cut congestion as research said air quality is among the UK’s worst.

The UK could soon see a revolution in electric vehicle charging after the Transport Secretary announced that £3.4 million will be invested in trials for wireless charging of electric taxis in Nottingham.

Ahead of the launch of a Clean Air Zone in York city centre later this month, City of York Council has awarded more than £1.6 million in funding to five bus companies to help them to make their vehicles more environmentally-friendly.

Scotland’s infrastructure secretary has insisted that upgrading the A9 road is not incompatible with climate targets.
Michael Matheson said the £3bn project was vital to the economies of the areas it serves.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani has hailed the Port of Blyth as one of the leading lights in the British maritime industry’s push for a greener, cleaner future.

Private cars will be banned from taking “through trips” across Birmingham city centre under plans to cut pollution.Vehicles will be able to drive into the city, but would have to go back out to the ring road to access other areas

In response to the decision made by Bath & North East Somerset Council today (17 January 2020) to introduce a £9 daily fee for high-emission vans and £100 for HGVs and buses, Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager for the South West at FTA, the only business group that represents all of logistics, comments:

Retailers, Manufacturers and Operators: –

DAF Tr Half of operators (49.6%) believe they will slash the CO2 emissions of their fleets by at least 15% by 2025, according to new research by conducted by MotorTransport and Fraikin.
While nearly one-fifth (17.4%) believe they will be able to exceed the 15% voluntary CO2 reduction target set to industry by the government in its Road to Zero strategy.
ucks has revealed it is considering selling its CF Electric into new European territories. The fully-electric 4×2 tractor, developed for distribution in urban areas with single or double-axle trailers, uses a lithium-ion battery pack with a total capacity of 170 kilowatt-hours. It has a range of approximately 100 kilometres.

Justin Laney (pictured), general manager of central transport for John Lewis, believes the Siemens eHighway system is the most viable long-term solution for delivering electric power to HGVs.

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have announced a “strategic investment” of €100m (£85m) in a new partnership with Arrival, a UK-based electric vehicle startup.

Motor Transport has launched a new category for the 34th Motor Transport Awards – Clean Fleet Van Operator of the Year.

Menzies Distribution has launched the first three electric vehicles into its Scottish delivery fleet as part of wider plans to roll out an electric fleet across its national network.

Microlise Fleet Telematics has been deployed by Kent-based FM Conway to support fuel economy and real-time planning for ‘next load’ across its fleet of over 220 vehicles.

DPD say 10% of its fleet (550 vehicles) will be electric by 2021.
Kuehne + Nagel has joined the Development and Climate Alliance, a group launched in Germany in 2018 to promote development and environmental protection.
The global logistics player said it joined the alliance as part of its Net Zero Carbon programme, which intends to fully compensate CO2 emissions it can’t avoid.

Nicholls Transport has opened a refuelling station for pumping liquified gas (LNG) from its Kent base. It will be used to support an initial order for 10 IVECO Stralis NP 460 6×2 tractor units from local dealer Haynes Trucks.

https://fta.co.uk/media/press-releases/2020/january-2020/green-enthusiasm-needs-government-support

Sources and credits to CILT, Gov. UK, Motor Transport, BBC, The Guardian, RHA and FTA

ByThe Transport Intel Insider

Logistics Results Round Up Part 1 – Mixed Fortunes

Mixed Fortunes in Kent Show the Way

With the Brexit comedy unfolding, the PM change and finally an election, the Logistics sector held it’s breath in 2019. Few companies invested, opting if anything to batten down the hatches and be ready to tighten their respective belts should the economy dip.

Indeed growth was as minimal and the bricks and mortar retail sector was battered with many big names going to the wall. (JD Sports and Greggs excepted).

2019 was a challenging year in particular for: –

Fedex UK profits dipped 27%

TNT’s dipped 7%

Cult favourite Eddie Stobart was saved by DBAY

K&N had a HMRC investigation into its corporation tax savings

Sherwood & Sons say profits dip 75%

Devereux Developments went into the red.

James Shaw and Son, Green & Skinner Haulage, Stanian Transport, Alton Transport Pro Freight Solutions and Eulos EU all sadly called in the administrators.

Hilary Devey’s subsidiaries Shears Brothers, Intercounty Distribution and Pall-Ex London all incurred mounting losses.

Royal Mail, Unipart Logistics, Dartford DHL, UPS – Argos Contract and Serco narrowly avoided strike action.

It was not all bad news and the below companies show there are still grounds for optimism in the right sectors: – 

Woodside Haulage seen profit rise by 20%

ET Holding 43% up year on year.

Erith Haulage seen profits rise seven-fold

United Pallet Network had an increase of profit by 5.6%

Reed Boardall seen a 13% increase in profits

NC Cammack had a record year – in its centenary.

NWF (Boughey Distribution) have seen volumes increase by 30%

CM Downtown had a number of large contract wins.

DPD seen a 13% increase in Black Friday related volumes and were voted best parcel carrier for the 7th year running.

Acquisitions – Gregory Distribution bought ARR Craib, Breedon has bought assets from Cemex.

2018 Motor Transport Top 10

ByThe Transport Intel Insider

Brexit Day Fast Approaching – Update

 

Latest Brexit Timetable: –

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46393399

LinkedIn Brexit Toolkit link: –

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?highlightedUpdateUrns=urn%3Ali%3Aactivity%3A6620645030501601281&keywords=%23Brexittoolkit&originTrackingId=eYTm0wPVPfyku8EmfY8oNw%3D%3D

CILT Brexit Customs Compliance Link: –

https://ciltuk.org.uk/News/Latest-News/ArtMID/6887/ArticleID/24830/Time-is-running-out-to-secure-your-fast-track-to-Brexit-customs-compliance

Now the Withdrawal agreement has been passed Brexit Day is fast approaching. Time to dust off and update those Brexit plans. Please find our guide to the top 10 business Brexit risks: –

  1. Law experts say haulage and logistics companies with contracts that have a cross UK-EU border element, due to end after the country’s departure date of 31 January 2020 need to think about including a contractual Brexit addendum into their agreements or face “serious implications”.
  2. More than seven million people are employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.
  3. There are 343,000 EU nationals working in British logistics firms impacting vehicle movements and the supply chain.
  4. The ongoing situation regarding the employment of EU nationals remains unclear.
  5. There are currently more than 53,000 lorry driver vacancies already in the UK, and more in warehousing, van driving and other key roles across the sector.
  6. FTA still has not received responses on a number of key areas which currently enable the smooth passage of goods and services across the UK’s borders.
  7. The transition period has already been reduced to less than a year, December 31st 2020. 
  8. The HMRC say the best-case scenario, she said the flow rate to vehicles coming to and from Europe will be 70-80% of current levels
  9. There are still concerns on the final confirmation of the arrangements for imports and exports between the UK and Europe including the potential for checks.
  10. Agreement on the situation on the Irish border, where and how these checks are to be made.
ByThe Transport Intel Insider

Top 10 Brexit Risks 2020

There is little shortage to information on Brexit, but it is a game of fast moving parts. Now the Withdrawal agreement has been passed, find our guide to the top 10 business Brexit risks going into the New Year: –

  • Law experts say haulage and logistics companies with contracts that have a cross UK-EU border element, due to end after the country’s departure date of 31 January 2020 need to think about including a contractual Brexit addendum into their agreements or face “serious implications”.
  • More than seven million people are employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.
  • There are 343,000 EU nationals working in British logistics firms impacting vehicle movements and the supply chain.
  • The ongoing situation regarding the employment of EU nationals remains unclear.
  • There are currently more than 53,000 lorry driver vacancies already in the UK, and more in warehousing, van driving and other key roles across the sector.
  • FTA still has not received responses on a number of key areas which currently enable the smooth passage of goods and services across the UK’s borders.
  • The transition period has already been reduced to less than a year, December 31st 2020. 
  • The HMRC say the best-case scenario, she said the flow rate to vehicles coming to and from Europe will be 70-80% of current levels
  • There are still concerns on the final confirmation of the arrangements for imports and exports between the UK and Europe including the potential for checks.
  • Agreement on the situation on the Irish border, where and how these checks are to be made.
Courtesy BBC
ByThe Transport Intel Insider

2019 Black Friday vs Cyber Monday – The Stats – Updated 11/1/20

Courtesy Getty Images/BBC

The troubled waters of the UK Retail economy had some relief last week with the results coming in of a successful Black Friday & Cyber Monday.

The UK’s troubled retail sector has been given a boost by Black Friday promotions, figures indicate.

Barclaycard processes £1 of every £3 say sales were up 7.1% compared with 2018, while sales value rose by 16.5%.

Over 1,200 stores closed in the UK in the first half of 2019.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive, Christmas retail sales were the ‘worst year on record’ in the UK.

Compared to November and December 2018, retail sales were down 0.9% in 2019.

Footfall across UK High Streets rose 3.1% for the first time in 4 years with major shopping centres seeing a 5.2% increase.

Cyber Monday sales increased 6.9% compared to 2018.

The busiest trading day before Christmas should still be Saturday 21 December.

Retailers were poised for record-breaking Cyber Monday sales following blockbuster spending in this year’s Black Friday events, a forecast showed.

US consumers were expected to spend $9.4bn (£7.3bn) online on Monday, Black Friday, raked in a record $7.4bn.

$2.9bn in sales coming from smartphones.

Last year Cyber Monday delivered $7.9bn in US sales.

Troubled waters have calmed a little for now, but with protests and strikes seen in Germany, France and the UK as a result of this phenomenon, it is not yet plain sailing.

ByThe Transport Intel Insider

November 23rd 2019

Royal Mail Shares in Freefall

It’s been a week the Royal Family will want to forget – specifically the Royal Mail. Despite CEO Rico Black unveiling operating profits of £3-400mill in line with market expectations, his pessimistic outlook in terms of transformation progress, stiff competition and less letters being sent. It’s been a turbulent November for Royal Mail with first stopping the CWU strike and then getting fined £50 mill for unfair practices against Whistl/TNT in 2014.

All eyes on what happens next with cult favourite operator Eddie Stobart. A General Meeting is scheduled for December 6th to consider DBAY’s £55 million bid for a 51% stake. This takeover will see the return of William Stobart to the company as Executive Chairman. Observers wait with baited breath to see if Wincanton may have something to say on this development. Also waiting in the wings is former Chief Executive, Andrew Tinkler with his consortium of M&G and Ruffer.