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British Corner Shop opens Dutch distribution centre

Online grocery store British Corner Shop has opened a new warehouse in Wijchen, The Netherlands – the first of its kind for the Bristol-based business as it seeks to offset the impact of Brexit and associated supply chain issues.

The new distribution centre doubles the size of the company’s previous warehouse, allowing them to stock more of their extensive selection of produce. It has also enabled them to hire their own employees, which ensures a higher quality of packing and stocking management, improving communication, and allowing greater oversight over orders.

The export industry has been massively impacted by Brexit, with British Corner Shop seeing a drop of 40% in turnover in the European market. This move to a fully dedicated European warehouse allows them to return to giving their customers service, free of supply chain and cross border compliance delays.

The retailer, which currently has 2,000 products from Britain’s most loved brands available to EU destinations, stocks many items not currently accessible to other supermarkets across Europe. Delays and ambiguities caused by the new Brexit laws saw a decrease in orders, and the company hope their new presence in Europe itself will help them to again meet the demands for British Products in the expat community.

With the new supply chain in place, British Corner Shop will enhance the proposition for their European customers. Plans include expansion of the brands and products on offer, increasing their range to over 5,000 of the best loved British products. This will also involve expanding the Marks & Spencer product range, including chilled, fresh and bakery, and adding new categories including alcohol and organic ranges.

Jon Farrar, Head of Marketing at British Corner Shop, said: “For British Corner Shop our customer base in Europe has, and continues to be, of great importance to us. Brexit changed the way we serve our customers, adding complexity in both the physical movement of goods and compliance in terms of the cross-border trade between the UK and Europe.

“With our new integrated, warehousing and supply chain operations based in the Netherlands, we have welcomed our first cohort of local employees and are dispatching orders for next day delivery across Europe successfully. The initial customer feedback has been extremely positive.

We feel positive that the challenges brought about by Brexit are behind us, and that we are moving forward now in way that is significantly better than before for our European customers.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: High-speed automated packaging by Sparck Technologies

Say goodbye to labour intensive, time-consuming, excess packaging. Boost your fulfilment with fit-to-size fully automated packaging power.

Savvy shippers know their parcel packaging processes are complex and unique, and for that, you need the only company with unmatched support and service when it comes to automated packaging. Sparck Technologies has over a decade of experience in fully automated packaging systems, and we are truly the front runners in innovation since 1924.

Sparck is the global leader in the design and fabrication of advanced, fit-to-size automated packaging systems for high-volume eCommerce applications, and aims to make every parcel clients send out a brand ambassador.

Our client’s success stories support the foundation of what sets Sparck apart – consistent and unwavering dedication to lowering labour, shipping and material costs with smart, sustainable packaging.

CVP Everest

An order packed every 3 seconds! Step it up with revolutionary high-speed fit-to-size packaging technology.

The CVP Everest measures, constructs, glues, weighs and labels each order at full speed. By creating the smallest box necessary, you will improve your customer’s experience with sustainable packaging. This supercharged solution will keep up with your high volume fulfilment needs while supporting those ever-changing peaks.

Increasing throughput and scaling growth by packing up to 1,100 orders per hour, while saving up to 50 percent of the transport volume and up to 30 percent of corrugated board consumption.

Learn how the CVP Everest will save you both time and money.

Employee safety in the logistics industry starts with data collection and analysis

Logistics organisations are under unprecedented pressure to improve not only efficiency, but also employee safety. The COVID-19-inspired spike in demand has highlighted endemic performance problems and created new workplace challenges; how can companies recruit and retain staff in a highly competitive market when the transport and storage industry exhibits a higher rate of injury at all levels of severity compared to other sectors?

Digital transformation provides a chance to improve efficiency, reduce costs and enhance responsiveness to customers, and transform the day-to-day experience for employees. This can only be achieved, however, if organisations get the right data collection and analysis solutions in place that quickly and effectively deliver new insight to logistics teams, explains Peter Ruffley, CEO, Zizo, and Ian Brown, CEO, Excelpoint…

Data Capture Challenge

While there are many technologies associated with digital transformation, in essence it is about data; using data to both automate processes and gain better understanding to drive business improvement.

For many organisations, however, that simple statement is the stumbling point. What data is required? Where is it located? How is it accessed? Can it be used in combination with other sources? Is there any contextual information? How often does it change?

The first question, of course, is: how can data be collected? For warehouse operations still reliant upon many manual, even paper-based processes, data collection is complex and time consuming. It can require significant effort to entice any insight from systems – information which is then out of date in this fast moving environment.  Inefficiencies remain unchecked and safety risks ignored.

Extracting Value

Achieving fast, effective data capture is a priority. No-code automation software that can be configured into a range of solutions for business-critical processes can quickly improve access to information, eliminating the need for multiple inputs across numerous systems. Such software helps businesses to streamline the way they manage people, systems and information, in turn, improving the workforce’s welfare, achieving flexibility and significant cost savings.

For example, from a safety perspective, simple, automated solutions for logging, recording and resolving incidents can both ensure Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) compliance and provide vital insight to ensure the incident is not repeated in the future; while automated safety audits create a structured process where information driven insights support employee safety while meeting compliance regulations.

In addition, the deployment of sensors or wearable devices, connecting to an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform or at the edge, can very quickly deliver new business insights.  For example, data from smart controls, such as loading docks, blind intersections and door openings can be used for operational improvements, as well as ensuring employees are safe and following protocols.

Employee Safety

With a holistic overview of operations, logistics managers gain confidence to make better decisions regarding both performance and employee well-being.  Workforces can identify areas where incidents could happen, highlighting risks before an accident occurs. In addition, information gathered from wearable devices can pick up an individual’s lifting techniques, body temperatures, heart rate or distance travelled in the workplace – providing managers with the ability to intervene in any unsafe practices in real-time.

This insight also creates a unified picture of what is happening across the factory or warehouse by highlighting patterns of behaviour that previously may have been undetectable, information that can be used within a feedback loop to drive continual improvements. For example, employees can be offered specific interactive and data-driven training – which will not only enhance employee wellbeing, but also improve employee productivity, in turn, increasing their satisfaction.

This is crucial as, according to the Health and Safety Executive,training helps people acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes to make them competent in the health and safety aspects of their work.’ Such programmes, driven by data-insight, can ensure that individuals performing a task have the competence to do so without putting the health and safety of others or themselves at risk.

Conclusion

Good employees are hard to find right now. For an industry experiencing a significantly higher number of safety incidents – for example forklift accidents account for approximately 85 deaths and 34,900 serious injuries each year – more must be done to both improve the operational risk environment and create tailored employee training and education.

Furthermore, employee safety is a great place to kick off a digital transformation programme. With wearables and no-code solutions, the process is simple and creates zero disruption; and the insight is both immediate and accessible for logistics staff. Critically, it builds confidence in the value of data amongst logistics teams, accelerating their commitment to transformation and helping to create an appetite for data driven change.

Once businesses realise the benefits and can see the impact, such as better employee safety, warehouse managers will begin to question what else they can do. What else can be improved? What else can be changed for the better? And this is the foundation to driving the digital transformation process forward over time.

Five ways UK exporters are bucking the trend and thriving in Ireland

In a market boosted by young consumers with a willingness for cross-border spending online the Irish eCommerce market is predicted to grow to be worth a staggering €7bn in 2022.

The latter half of 2021 saw Irish consumers turn in increasing numbers to buying from international retailers.

Yet last year exports from the UK to Ireland dropped by a fifth with nearly one in four British exporters giving up fulfilling online orders citing costly post-Brexit delays. The top exports from the UK to Ireland were medicinal, pharmaceutical and consumer goods.

For the remaining British exporters continuing to meet online customer demand in Ireland there’s a clear distinction between those that are currently surviving and those that are thriving. Irish logistic firm DuTec’s managing director Sean Conway details five areas of adversity for UK exporters and how successful UK exporters have adapted to overcome these issues…

Meeting customer delivery expectations

Before Brexit, Irish online consumers were familiar with a 2–3-day delivery timescale for orders bought and shipped from Britain. Post-Brexit the reality is that it can take up to three or four weeks for a package to arrive. The consequence being that an Irish consumer will choose an alternative supplier if a UK brand cannot meet their delivery expectations.

Successful exporters are reducing the physical distance between product and consumer, bypassing the time-consuming and costly border processes that are now in place. By holding a proportion of stock in Ireland, days of time can be saved, and customer expectations can even be exceeded with expediated delivery now an option.  Beat the competition with speedy delivery.

Avoiding nasty surprises

In addition to delays, there have been many instances of Irish consumers discovering they have extra charges to pay when their goods finally arrive from the UK. These charges include VAT, Customs Charges, Handling/Processing Charges, and can be considerable, Often necessitating a trip to the courier’s depot to pay for and pick up their parcel, these nasty surprises reflect badly on the UK sellers.

Post-Brexit Irish customers are now accustomed to checking out the shipping terms to get an understanding of where an item is coming from, how long it will take to arrive, and shipping costs incurred. British exporters have found a two-fold solution. Firstly, they are mitigating the risk of variable shipping costs by using a fulfilment partner In Ireland and secondly they are reassuring online customers by clearly outlining that there are processes in place to avoid extra shipping costs being incurred by customers.

Higher import costs

Custom delays, inspections and import taxes at the UK/EU border have drastically increased post-Brexit and have been further complicated by supply chain pressure caused by Covid. Consider that a pallet inspection into the EU from the UK consists of checks on every SKU and you get an idea of the magnitude of red tape involved, especially with large volume shipment.

These “steps of pain” are being overcome by successful British exporters, partnering with logistics firms knowledgeable and familiar with UK/EU customs processes who can swiftly clear both non-EU and EU bound products on behalf of the exporters.

Handling EU to UK returns

With up to 20% of online goods returned over the 2021 Xmas period many UK exporters are incurring considerable costs attempting to facilitate returns. In this first full year of Brexit this has been somewhat of a baptism of fire for some, as goods have to leave the EU and re-enter the UK which can incur further taxes.  In addition, if a product is perishable, such as a beauty product, or if the products are seasonal  the window of time open for it to be reprocessed and made ready for re-sale before its best before date or season end  can be adversely affected by a delayed return. A recent report in the Guardian disclosed that the cost of a return in the UK costs up to £20. Factor in the added costs in coming back from Ireland and this figure could be even more for UK retailers.

Successful British exporters to Ireland find that a hassle-free returns policy drastically reduces the cost and pain of returning goods, for both the consumer and the retailer. These exporters often use an Irish logistics partner who can receive and process the returns, repurposing goods that can be swiftly re-sold. By holding returned items in Ireland, within the EU, the threat of further import taxation is negated. Non-EU products can be efficiently returned in bulk, further reducing costs.

Decreasing your carbon footprint

Direct shipping goods destined for Irish consumers from point of manufacture directly to Ireland can dramatically reduce your Carbon footprint.

Sustainability-conscious exporters are realising that the number of miles a parcel has to travel can be reduced by 5x by importing into an Irish hub at the point of supply itself. An experienced import partner can tackle the logistical and administrative tasks which when considering high volume shipping can lead to a massive decrease in carbon emissions.

Six supply chain predictions for 2022

2021 saw many major challenges for logistics and supply chain professionals. With capacity constraints, ecommerce growth and driver shortages creating dilemmas for many as well as the increased focus from the industry on environment and machine learning, it was a year that was definitely not without its tests. 

While reflecting on some of the ways the industry sought to overcome these challenges, Chris Jones, Executive Vice President, Industry & Services at Descartes Systems Group, takes a look at what to look out for in 2022… 

Global supply chains will be busy, congested, and chaotic.

The challenges facing global supply chains show no signs of slowing down, with UK businesses left to navigate the complexities of Brexit and the subsequent delays to their operations, alongside the extra administrative burdens. Whilst some of the uncertainties surrounding the transition are beginning to ease, many firms remain concerned about how delays could impact their operations post-Brexit.

The key to navigating customs clearance is undoubtedly preparation. Planning is crucial not only for compliance – but also for growth and resilience – and businesses that are yet to lay the groundwork risk accidental non-compliance and further congestion at ports. With full UK customs changes now in effect as of January 1st 2022, businesses should prioritise the implementation of supply chain software solutions to take back control and handle customs declarations in-house or ensure they work with a customs partner who can provide full transparency at every step of the process.

Online buying will continue to fuel growth in home deliveries, presenting challenges that demand new strategies.

The pandemic saw an increase in ecommerce that is set to continue in 2022 as the changes in consumer buying behaviour become more structural. This clearly presents both an opportunity and challenge for retailers and last mile logistics companies. The increase in volume will increase the challenge on an already tight last mile delivery capacity. Speed and reliability of deliveries will either come with a premium price, or remain as uneven as it has been over the last two years. For example, Amazon’s Whole Foods business is now incrementally charging for delivery to offset increased delivery costs.

We anticipate that more companies will re-evaluate their “free” delivery strategies and look for alternative delivery strategies such as combining deliveries for individual customers or locations, in order to minimise delivery costs and maximise the available delivery capacity.

The Great Resignation will accelerate the existing driver exodus, increasing the focus on retention.

Whether long haul or last mile, the driver shortage is endemic and will continue to materially impact retail, distribution, and logistics companies. While finding new drivers to replace or add capacity will remain important, it’s also much harder to find drivers now than it has been in the past.

Instead, in 2022, companies will focus more on driver retention and productivity. Lowering turnover – which has traditionally been high – puts less pressure on the number of drivers that need to be hired and keeps the more experienced ones improving delivery performance. Keeping drivers driving and reducing stress will be the top retention priorities. Companies will need to do a better job at reducing wait times and improving driver quality of life through routes that are more realistic to execute, that don’t result in extended wait or on the road time and facilitate more predictable hours.

Driver shortage will force an emphasis on better planning.

The increase in home delivery and driver shortage combined exacerbated supplychain vulnerabilities that, until now, retailers were just about managing to cope with – and have paid the price in terms of consumer expectations.

In the absence of effective planning, logistics companies and retailers will compromise a satisfactory delivery experience. While continuing to seek to recruit and train drivers, improving the overall productivity of existing drivers by optimising delivery routes should be the first port of call. By using advanced route optimisation software, all delivery options can be evaluated instantaneously, ultimately maximising capacity and increasing efficiency.

Sustainability will become an opportunity, not a challenge for supply chains.

The focus on sustainability will increase in 2022 and it won’t just be from consumers. Many investment funds are taking an increasingly stronger stance on companies’ sustainability strategies and actual performance. This powerful combination will push companies to move faster to reduce their impact on the environment. It also presents an excellent opportunity for supply chain and logistics professionals to raise the visibility and value of supply chain strategies and operations. Productivity enhancement is at the heart of any good supply chain performance improvement program and almost always results in greater efficiency, reduced paper and other waste that directly translates into reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Equally, many consumers are looking for delivery choices that help the environment, which presents retailers with the opportunity to look at innovative ways to combine or steer deliveries to reduce the mileage associated with home delivery. This will not only benefit the environment and delight the consumer but will also result in lower delivery costs for retailers.

Machine learning will go mainstream in supply chain technology.

This year, we expect machine learning (ML) to continue to be quickly adopted by supply chain technology providers because of the rich supply chain data that exists to teach ML algorithms. The result will be more accurate plans, estimated-time-of-arrival (ETA) and improved recommendations that make supply chain and logistics operations more productive and reliable. Rather than displace existing supply chain technology, ML will augment it through embedded uses, such as optimising stop times, delivery locations, drive times and ETAs, or as part of greater data analytics solutions that are used to provide deeper insights into supply chain performance.

While 2022 will undoubtedly be a challenging year for logistics and supply chain professionals, the “C-suite” will recognise that their supply chains need to be world-class to help drive revenue and profitability. This will provide plenty of opportunities to show the value of advanced logistics and supply chain strategies, tactics and technology—and transformation will not only be the key to success but, for some, the key to survival.

Chris Jones – Executive Vice President, Industry & Services at Descartes Systems Group Chris has over 30 years of experience in the supply chain market, including the last 10 years as a part of the Descartes leadership team. Prior to Descartes, he has held a variety of senior management positions in other organisations including: Senior Vice President at The Aberdeen Group’s Value Chain Research division, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development for SynQuest and Vice President and Research Director for Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions at The Gartner Group and Associate Director Operations & Technology for Kraft Foods.

1 in 5 transport & logistics employees considering quitting due to excessive stress

Nearly one in five employees (17%) in the transport and logistics sector are considering leaving their job role because of excessive stress experienced in the last year.

One in ten employees in the sector (10%) have already left their job role due to excessive stress over the last year — this is double the number of retail employees, and more than healthcare workers over the same period.

During the busy Christmas period and with increased pressure on staffing and workloads across the industry, employers are encouraged to invest in mental health support for employees. More than one employee in eight who suffered from excessive stress over the last year believe their company didn’t provide sufficient support.

Up to 27% of employees from the sector have taken off work for mental health reasons in 2021. 7% of employees have required unpaid leave due to mental health issues – this is double the number of those that took unpaid leave due to physical health problems.

The 2021 Stress and Mental Health study, undertaken by Vapeclub, asked transport and logistics employees working for 67 employers in the UK about their experience of stress and mental health issues in the workplace, the cause of excessive stress in their role and the impacts on life outside of work.

Almost half (46.7%) of employees have been struggling to sleep properly as a result of excessive stress – a problem that deeply affects day-to-day life, and can be dangerous as a HGV driver.

Meanwhile, (40%) withdrew from others or socialised less, leaving them to deal with stress without the vital support of friends and family. For 33%, feelings of excessive stress led to further impacts on their mental health.

Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at Westfield Health, said: “Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Pressure at work is usually the main culprit and when budgets are tight and teams are small, people often find themselves with multiple roles and heavy workloads, piling on the stress.

Policies like turning off email servers outside of working hours helps ring fence valuable recovery time. Mental health first aid training can also help managers spot the signs or triggers and put preventions in place.”

Claire Brown, Career Coach and former Occupational Therapist for the NHS, said: “In this past year, we have seen the continued impact of the pandemic upon people’s careers and their experiences of the workplace. However, in addition to the existing challenges, there is now an increasing need to adjust to a constantly evolving and changing landscape. The constant change in expectations across a range of areas coupled with an absence of effective support structures and change management practices has led to an increase in work-related stress for many.

“Now, more than ever, employers need to prioritise the health and well-being of their staff teams otherwise they will find many employees forced to take sick leave due to stress or ill health. Any issues and grievances should be discussed openly with employees and they should seek to foster a culture in which work-related stress is de-stigmatised by recognising it as a genuine health concern.”

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: T S Europe helps you manage logistics uncertainty

The lorry driver shortage is making headlines again. Grocery store shelves are empty, the prices of goods are increasing, and businesses are beginning to worry. The logistics world is volatile as industries are faced with the challenge of acclimating to the new, demanding changes.

Amid the chaos, Transport Services Europe has embraced the storm and is actively adapting to the new changes. By continuously analysing the market, keeping up with freight affairs, and speaking to different suppliers, we have formulated a comprehensive approach to tackle the driver shortage.

The business model of T S Europe is structured around providing a service that ensures fluid and transparent communication with an emphasis on reliability, – all while remaining competitive.  As a result, we have established, maintained and developed positive relationships with clients, such as Aldi, and McDonald’s.

The impact of Brexit and Covid has led to companies being faced with late deliveries, customs problems, and a competitive market. When transportation issues arise in the supply chain, businesses and consumers alike face the consequences. As such, T S Europe highlights the importance of establishing mutual trust with your transport partners. The added security of having a transport partner by your side every step of the way is crucial for a business to run smoothly.

In times of need, a helping hand makes all the difference.

tseurope.co.uk

Just 16% of UK consumers are satisfied with delivery services every time

Over two thirds (68%) of UK consumers have had an issue with delivery in the last three months – and, as a result, 24% lost trust in a delivery company and 24% lost trust in the retailer.

That’s according to Descartes Systems Group’s latest Consumer Online Delivery Research, which set out to assess consumers’ online purchasing experiences across Europe.

Undertaken by SAPIO Research during July 2021, the interviews with consumers across Europe highlighted that quality of the delivery service is undermining overall customer perception of both delivery companies and retailers – leading to lost sales.

The research concludes that retailers need to take ownership of the end-to-end experience, in order to address consumer expectations regarding tracking and communication; safe delivery and ease of return; and, increasingly, environmental considerations.

Key findings include:

  • The quality of the experience has been far from perfect: just 16% of UK consumers are satisfied with the delivery service every time.
  • Over two thirds (68%) have had an issue with delivery in the last three months – and, as a result, 24% lost trust in a delivery company and 24% lost trust in the retailer.
  • Over a third (37%) of consumers also share their perception of both delivery company and retailer with friends and family – creating a ripple effect that rapidly undermines consumer perception.
  • 71% of European consumers consider the environment when making an online order
  • Almost a third are interested in bulking all orders to one weekly delivery.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of purchases made online has grown from an average of 32% to 43% and is expected to remain at 41% for the foreseeable future. More than half (51%) of consumers have increased the number of purchases they make online, and 51% now make an online purchase at least once a fortnight – almost double the number (28%) pre-pandemic.

Despite these statistics, the research findings underline the fact that deliveries are failing to achieve complete customer satisfaction, with nearly nine in ten (87%) customers not always satisfied with the delivery services received. With satisfaction rates even lower for consumers who have reduced their online buying behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic, the implications of inadequate delivery experiences cannot be overlooked.

Timing is the biggest issue for home deliveries – with two in three (68%) UK consumers reporting a delivery problem in the last three months. Delivery problems radically affect customer perception – and not just of the delivery company. While almost a quarter (24%) lost trust in the delivery company, 24% also lost trust in the retailer and 23% did not buy from that retailer again.

Given that many consumers were a captive audience during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, these delivery problems should raise serious alarm bells for retailers. With just 16% of UK consumers confirming they are totally satisfied with the delivery service, a company’s ability to meet its delivery promises will become increasingly important to reinforce the quality of customer experience and maximise the chances of customer retention.

Descartes says questions retailers should, therefore, be seriously considering, include:

  • How proactively is the retailer tracking delivery performance?
  • What is the strategy for managing spiralling delivery costs and optimising driver time?
  • What is the strategy for meeting customers’ environmental expectations? Can the delivery model support bulk orders and green scheduling? Are the right vehicles being automatically assigned to deliver in Clean Air Zones?

Pol Sweeney, VP Sales and Business Manager UK, Descartes, said: “Consumers will not return to pre-pandemic shopping habits; having become used to the convenience of ecommerce, online purchasing will continue to dominate. Individuals have become far more confident and sophisticated online over the past 18 months and expectations have risen, leading retailers to enhance the online experience, but as this research reveals, the quality of the delivery service is undermining the overall customer perception and leading to lost sales. Retailers that take ownership of the entire end-to-end experience and truly optimise the delivery process have the opportunity to transform customer perceptions, drive additional sales and, critically, entice customers from poorer performing competitors.”

Is Boris’ ban of petrol and diesel vehicles going to crush the transport industry?

The UK Government has announced official plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. From then on, new hybrids or electric cars will be the only types of vehicles allowed to be manufactured – and after 2035, only pure electric vehicles can be sold.

This legislation was introduced to support the reduction of fossil fuel consumption and transition to a net zero society. Billions of pounds are being invested in electric vehicle charge points across England as well as for grants to help people afford to install charge points on their private property.

This petrol and diesel ban could help cut car emissions to 46m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, down from an equivalent of 68 MtCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) emitted today.

The sale of electric vehicles has increased in the UK by 185.9 per cent year on year; however, the majority of cars that are imported from other countries still have an internal combustion engine (ICE) – meaning they are either petrol, diesel, or hybrid. Around 26 countries are huge exporters of ICE vehicles to the UK, including the Czech Republic, Turkey, South Africa, Poland, and Italy. In the Czech Republic, the car industry accounts for nine per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). 154,468 petrol and diesel models were exported to the UK in 2019.

Challenges posed

While yes, the move to electric vehicles will drive down global emissions, which is becoming a crucial consideration for governments and populations worldwide following the United Nations’ ‘code red for humanity’ climate change warning, it will be expensive.

Road Haulage Association Managing Director Rod McKenzie told Sky News that alternative fuels for transport such as hydrogen and electricity will be too costly or won’t offer enough range. For such a drastic shift to a different method of fuel, there needs to be less doubt and more certainty for something that is hugely relied on.

McKenzie commented: “This proposal is unrealistic. Alternative HGVs don’t yet exist. We don’t know when they’ll exist, and we don’t know how much they’ll cost, and it’s not clear what any transition will look like.

“So this is blue-sky thinking way ahead of real-life reality. For many haulage companies, there are big fears around the cost of new vehicles and a collapse in the resale value of existing ones.”

Businesses involving heavy goods vehicles will be faced with many significant challenges – it will likely take a while for the price of alternative HGVs to be driven down while we wait for research and development to innovate them and make them cheaper to manufacture and run. Transitioning an entire fleet to alternative fuel won’t be cheap. However, there is a huge need for the transport industry to be electrified – according to the UK Government, 79 per cent of domestic freight was moved by road in 2019, and transport was the largest sector for emitting domestic greenhouse gases.

Greg Archer, UK Director of the European green transport campaign group Transport and Environment, argued for the ICE vehicle ban and the ever-growing need for this ambition. He said: “This plan is a milestone in the shift to a more sustainable UK transport system. The decision to only use zero-emission road vehicles – including trucks – by 2050 is world-leading and will significantly reduce Britain’s climate impact and improve the air we breathe.”

In a bid to help businesses, seven major British companies have joined forces to accelerate the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles – some of which have some of the largest commercial fleets in the UK.

Cost advantages for business

Businesses can save money on fuel – a report by British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association report found that electric vehicles cost between 2p and 4p a mile whereas the equivalent in diesel costs 12p per mile. Tax refunds are also available for the purchase of electric vehicles, meaning you can relieve some costs.

The government is offering grants towards the cost of a new van of up to 20 per cent and 75 per cent towards the cost of installing a rapid charge point at your place of business. Congestion charges such as the ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) have been introduced in some cities to achieve cleaner air to breathe. While a great initiative for local ecosystems, it makes some cities impractical or expensive to drive through with ICE vehicles. All of these considerations make van leasing deals seem a more attractive prospect for businesses relying on fleets.

What do you think about the plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles? Is this giving you the push you need to adopt greener alternatives in your life?

Supply chain management & planning solutions – 2021 buying trends revealed

Distribution, Logistics Management and Operations Management top the list of services the UK’s leading supply chain professionals are sourcing in 2021. The findings have been revealed by the Total Supply Chain Summit and are based on delegate requirements at this year’s events. Delegates registering to attend are asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2021 and beyond. A significant 60% are looking to invest in Distribution and 53.3% for Logistics Management. Operations Management and Supply Chain Planning both came in at 46.7%. Just behind were Delivery Management (40%) and Home Delivery Solutions (both 40%). % of delegates at the Total Supply Chain Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10): Distribution 60% Logistics Management 53.3% Operations Management 46.7% Supply Chain Planning & Optimisation Software 46.7% Delivery Management 40% Home Delivery Solutions 40% Outsourcing 40.0% Inventory Optimisation 33.3% Network Optimisation 33.3% Order Fulfillment 33.3% To find out more about the Total Supply Chain Summit, visit https://totalsupplychainsummit.co.uk.
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