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Optimism breaks out in transport and logistics

By: Dave Robbins
25 February 2014

The transport and logistics industry has plenty of reasons to have a bit of a spring in its step right now. The recently published Barclays Employers’ Survey shows that 55% of transport and logistics businesses are more optimistic about 2014 than they were in 2013.

What’s more, they’re looking to recruit, with 32% of respondents looking to fill senior roles over the next year and 93% hoping to recruit low and unskilled workers. The latter figure compares to 73% this time last year.

To reach their conclusions, Barclays questioned 684 businesses across the UK with a range of annual turnovers starting at £5m through to £500m.

This renewed optimism is also reflected in truck sales which, in the final quarter of last year, soared by an amazing 93%. The 11,300 trucks registered in December was the highest for 20 years and helped reverse the long-running decline in trucks registered in the UK, which started in 2007/08. At the end of the final quarter, 2013 there were 466,500; that’s still a long way off the pre-recession peak of over 500,000.

No doubt, this sudden spurt has a lot to do with a dash to ensure HGV fleets meet the latest Euro-6 emission rules. But there is a little more to it than that according to Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders: “The total commercial market – including vans – rose by 14.7%, making it the best overall performance in the last five years.”

Somewhat unsurprisingly, with all this optimism about, the REC KPMG Markit ‘Monthly Report on Jobs’ shows that driving an HGV continues to be a job skill in which there is a current shortage.

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