Last reviewed 24 April 2020

Trade organisations in the transport and logistics sector have come together to urge the Government to do more to save thousands of firms who face ruin as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The heads of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the British Association of Removers, the Cold Chain Federation, the Association of Pallet Networks, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and the Transport Association have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to plead for help.

They have warned that, with no further government action, a predicted widescale business collapse could reduce logistics capacity by as much as 50%.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “At this time of national emergency our sector is doing everything it can to ensure critical supplies get to where they need to be.”

He highlighted that a recent RHA survey found that nearly half (46%) of the UK’s truck fleet is not operating while a quarter of drivers are furloughed.

In the letter, available at https://www.rha.uk.net/getmedia/3058feb7-8936-4ef7-a6ab-c5e26ea9d075/Joint-Industry-Letter-17-April.pdf.aspx, the trade bodies suggest a number of measures that the Government could take.

These include:

  • introducing a business rates “holiday” for all hauliers’ sites to bring them into line with other sectors and reduce fixed costs

  • the provision of weekly SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) refunds to help firms reduce standing costs and enable them to bring fleets back online more quickly

  • introducing immediate grants and debt support for struggling firms

  • providing a fuel duty rebate for essential users to reduce burden on cashflows; and

  • launching a weekly furlough model to improve flexibility, reduce costs and ensure staff remain available.