The Association of Pallet Networks (APN), representing eight pallet networks and almost 800 UK hauliers, is calling on government to suspend fuel duty for the logistics industry.
Like most businesses, haulage firms are currently suffering substantial disruption, unpredictable order patterns and diminishing demand from many customers – yet these operations must continue to ensure the supply of essential goods and to support critical services.
APN chairman Paul Sanders is writing to the Road Haulage Association, and the Freight Transport Association to ask their aid in lobbying the Treasury for a derogation to take pressure off our most essential supply chain businesses.
HGVs deliver approximately 90+% of UK freight, lifting 1.41 bn tonnes in 2018 and moving 152bn tonne kilometres. Multimodal operations (eg also using trains for freight movements) accounts for only a small percentage of freight, and all freight requires final mile deliveries by HGVs.
Sanders says: “The majority of UK haulage operations are small or SME businesses. Their business model is very vulnerable to cash flow issues and their fuel bills usually account for between 30 and 40% of operating costs.
“A derogation on fuel duty could make a huge difference to business continuity and in minimising the number of losses from our sector,” he adds.
“The UK logistics industry is in the spotlight right now, providing one of the most important jobs next to healthcare. It is imperative we do all we can to ensure business continuity and the protection of vital jobs and distribution services.”
Statement from Kevin Buchanan, Group CEO at Pall-Ex:
“The logistics sector is key to keeping Britain moving at this challenging time and our teams across the pallet network sector are working together around the clock to deliver the supplies that our hospitals and businesses desperately need.
“Uniquely, we are able to cover the whole of the UK and our collective members are all experienced in working collaboratively and efficiently to meet the ongoing needs of organisations and the public.
“Safety remains paramount for our team and our customers and we are following all recommendations to limit contact and maintain safe distances during deliveries.
“Pall-Ex is proud of the dedication logistics workers have shown both here at our hub in Leicestershire and nationally, and the vital role our teams are playing in keeping the UK’s supply chain moving.”