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Latest logistics news: How has the industry fared during Covid?

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​There’s no doubt that logistics has been on an interesting journey in the last few months. None of us could ever have predicted that a global pandemic would shut down operations across the country – but we’re certainly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, here at WR Logistics, we’re once again seeing more of the team getting back into the office, in a social distanced way of course.

But a lot has happened in the last quarter, and for those of you that haven’t kept up with the latest developments we’ve been sharing across LinkedIn and Facebook, here’s some of the latest news in the world of logistics.

It’s not all doom and gloom for logistics news during Covid

While news reports haven’t been great to say the least, for logistics there has been a lot of resilience – in fact we’ve seen some firms up their game to take advantage of a quieter competitive market. As a result, there have been a number of positive reports. For example, just last month Wincanton won a significant contract with Morrisons to enhance the store’s logistics operations in the UK. And there was further good news for the UK’s largest third-party logistics company earlier this month as it also announced the opening of its fifth Screwfix distribution centre.

And if you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you may have already seen our update on the steps that many organisations are taking to adapt during the crisis, with suppliers evolving their networks and the supply chains they operate in to support the UK in these unprecedented times. While some elements of our personal and professional lives are certainly returning to normal, those logistics firms that have adapted will certainly be utilising any developments that delivered results for their business during lockdown on a more permanent basis.

A new future

Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that Covid-19 has had a profound impact on us all and there’s no doubt that logistics as we knew it will certainly change as more routes are re-opened. In fact, in a recent report which was published on the back of a survey from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), it was revealed that supply chains will need to diversify in the post-Covid world.

The COVID-19: The Future of Supply Chain report focused specifically on shippers, but much of the results will certainly resonate across the whole of logistics. There was no doubt from the responses in the survey that a significant proportion of businesses felt the impact as supply chains dwindled, with 73% of organisations encountering a problem getting supplies. As a result, more firms are reviewing the due diligence of their existing supply chains, with more than half planning a ‘pandemic plan’ to ensure their company has the back-ups in place should we face a similar situation.

In order to achieve this, many logistics firms are diversifying their strategies, with a combination of local supplier bases becoming mainstream, and an uptick in the use of technology to plan and manage resources, being utilised.

And while a fifth of those surveyed by the BCI reported that they will be stockpiling more in a post-pandemic world, the use of local sourcing and better technology as a more cost-effective way of ensuring goods can be acquired quickly and efficiently certainly look set to have a longer-term impact.

As BCI’s head of thought leadership, Rachael Elliott, explained: “With three out of four organisations reporting their supply chains have been adversely affected by Covid-19, this report serves as a timely overview of the issues organisations have suffered throughout the pandemic. It serves as a benchmark to organisations, but also offers suggestions on measures organisations could consider implementing into their future supply chain strategies to help similar issues reoccurring in the face of a second wave or future global crisis.

“Whilst the pandemic continues to wreak havoc with supply chains globally, it has also brought opportunity: many organisations are already actively investing in new technologies to help with activities such as supply chain mapping, whilst others have developed cross functional teams – which they plan to keep post-Covid – to work together to help combat supply chain issues in a more organisationally cohesive way.”

Having the right talent on board is key

However, in order to achieve this, there needs to be the logistics teams in place to deliver against the demand. No amount of planning can help if the right haulage, freight and courier personnel aren’t available to work. And with the sector facing a dearth of talent (with the FTA reporting earlier this year that 64% of transport and haulage businesses are now struggling to fill vacancies – a gap in resources that is set to be exacerbated post-Brexit) action needs to be taken to encourage more people to choose the logistics sector as a career – and now is arguably the best time to achieve this.

With large groups of people out of work or on long-term furlough, the number of individuals considering employment in areas they wouldn’t normally look at has increased. And with greater recognition of the value of logistics teams in keeping Britain stocked and moving, choosing a career in the industry is certainly of much greater appeal today. But it’s important that we don’t let this opportunity go to waste. As lockdowns are eased, we need to put our foot on the accelerator and keep logistics front of mind for the UK as an arena that holds multiple career prospects for everyone.

Supporting the world of logistics

It’s clear that a lot has happened in the first half of 2020. However, one thing that certainly hasn’t changed, is WR Logistics commitment to help employers keep their fleets moving. We have managed the staffing needs for some of the UK’s largest organisations, supporting recruitment across all levels.

Our team has continued to deliver results for clients and candidates, and as we ourselves begin to return to the office, we’re supporting more businesses getting operations back up and running to normal capacity – and beyond! Why not contact them today to find out how they can support you or your business?

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