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Logistics industry warns of cashflow crisis in Government letter

30 March 2020

Industry bodies express concern that current bailout measures may not help logistics businesses crucial to the UK economy during the crisis.

The letter expresses concern that firms may not be able to access emergency funds quickly enough.

The letter has been signed by:

  • Richard Burnett Chief Executive RHA
  • Shane Brennan Chief Executive Cold Chain Federation 
  • Kevin Richardson Chief Executive CILT 
  • Peter Ward Chief Executive UKWA 
  • David Wells Chief Executive FTA 
  • Ian Studd Director General BAR

See full text of letter below.

27th March 2020 

Dear Prime Minister & Chancellor of the Exchequer, 

We are the industry bodies representing crucial transport and logistics sectors of the UK economy. 

We want to explain why the package of measures announced to help businesses so far will not work for our sector. 

We represent many small businesses within the sector which are facing a serious cashflow crisis. There is no mechanism for rapidly accessing the funds unveiled by the Chancellor and without very rapid action many businesses will cease trading as they have no cash reserves and are operating on very small margins of between 1 and 2%.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis, the UK transport and logistics industry has demonstrated to government, as well as the general public, just how critical we are to the movement of goods and people for everyday life. 

Our supply chain has been tested as never before with an unprecedented level of demand from consumers. Our resilience and determination have helped maintain the flow of key workers and of critical goods and food amidst a backdrop of uncertainty, financial hardship and staff shortages. 

We would like to reassure you that our organisations, which are the major representatives of all areas of the profession, are working tirelessly together for the benefit of our members and the good all society. 

Collectively we have requested several measures from government and many of those requests have already been implemented. We are seeing unprecedented levels of collaboration already between operators and between our industry sectors. 

We also need support from lenders, suppliers and contractors to ensure that businesses take the pressure. Now is the time to pull together and support each other. Ensuring the financial measures available to our businesses and our workforces remains our priority.

The measures announced so far, whilst are welcome start, do not reflect the enormous financial pressures this industry is facing. We need a financial response and package to save many in our industry from facing ruin.