Freight News, Logistics

Don’t compete – collaborate

[ November 5, 2014   //   ]

Yusen Logistics’ UK managing director Kevin Appleton predicts that collaboration between former logistics competitors will become the norm in future. Speaking at Barclays/Moore Stephens Logistics Outlook Event on 4 November, he said it could achieve lower overall costs for customers whilst maintaining realistic profit margins for providers.
He also spoke of increasingly confusing times for logistics operators in the UK market and indeed, for many industries right now.
“On the one hand we hear we are in the “world’s fastest-growing developed economy” and we see growing activity levels across our customer base.  On the other hand the Euro zone is poised on the brink of another recession, driver CPC has created an instant shortage of qualified manpower and customers remain strongly resistant to talk of rate rises as their own businesses remain under continuing margin pressure.
The latest UK Logistics Confidence index would suggest that a rather optimistic view of the future prevailed at the time of the fieldwork, but it remains to be seen whether this will remain as the scale of the economic challenge for the UK becomes clearer.
More optimistically, omni-channel trading continues to enjoy tremendous growth as consumers look for bargains and convenience. House building is also nudging back towards pre-recession high levels and sales of those goods which are driven by house moves are likely to remain strong.

And CBI director-general, John Cridland recently declared that UK manufactured exports to non-EU markets were now 30% above their 2007 levels.  This underlying good news story is being overshadowed by the woes of the Euro zone, but it does suggest some real opportunity for logistics businesses exposed to manufacturing exporters on long-haul trade lanes.

Kevin Appleton resized