Business, Freight News, Logistics

Logistics people to be key workers in COVID-19 response

[ March 20, 2020   //   ]

The government has categorised logistics workers as “key workers” in the COVID-19 response plans after urgent appeals by the Freight Transport Association to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, and his ministerial team.

It means that logistics workers’ children can apply for access to schooling during the COVID-19 response period and is a welcome relief to dedicated people who are keeping the supply chain running, said FTA.

FTA policy director Elizabeth de Jong said: “Our team has made urgent approaches to the Secretary of State and Ministers to call for an all-encompassing definition that recognises the vital nature of roles in logistics and we are delighted that our request has been acknowledged at the highest level.  It is also encouraging that logistics’ workers are now recognised as ‘key’, to help them play their part in the industry’s efforts to maintain vital supply chains.”

The key worker list published by government on 20 March includes transport, defined as those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating, and food and goods, including those involved in food distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods.

“Logistics workers are the unsung heroes in today’s economy, ensuring that shops, schools and hospitals, as well as manufacturing and our homes, have the products they need, when they need them,” continues Ms de Jong.  “Today’s announcement is a very welcome recognition of this role, and will give reassurance to those working so hard to keep Britain trading under such challenging circumstances.”

Peel Ports meanwhile said that workers at Liverpool are working round the clock handling large amounts of containerised and un-containerised medical, food and other key supplies including blood plasma and medicines such as inhalers from Ireland.

Group Managing Director at Peel Ports David Huck, said: “In these unprecedented times, it’s crucial that supply routes are protected to ensure medical, energy, fuel and the food provisions remain available to all citizens throughout what is likely to be a sustained period of crisis. We have a collective responsibility to ensure our ports remain fully functioning while taking every practicable measure to protect the safety and wellbeing of our dedicated workforce.”