10 February 2017
Confidence grows in UK logistics
A recent report looking at the logistics sector in the UK
has shown a slight rise
in confidence among businesses.
Following four successive reports of a fall in confidence
levels, this rise is seen as significant, although the level still remains
lower than the highs of 2014 and 2015.
The report by Barclays
Corporate spoke to 100 senior decision-makers across the logistics sector
and overall, many reported feeling cautious about the future, but less so than
previously. The results indicate that for many companies the focus over the
coming year is to consolidate market position rather than grow or expand. The rise in confidence levels appears in tune with the UK Manufacturing
PMI, which also rose at the end of 2016 to a ten-month high.
The report reveals, perhaps as expected, that there is ongoing
uncertainty regarding Brexit, the application of Article 50 to exit the
European Union and the resulting trade agreement. Almost half (48%) of those
questioned say that they believe business conditions will be somewhat more
difficult in the coming months.
Furthermore, a key issue highlighted by many was customer price
pressure, with firms stating they fear customers will demand lower prices in an
The use of technology
With regards to technology and products such as EPOD, 60% of
those questioned said that embracing new technology to help their business gain
a competitive edge was very important and that the use of technology is growing
Many felt that the key perceived benefits of using new
technologies are internal rather than external. However, we would disagree with
this. EPOD provides benefits both internally and externally, with customers seeing
an advantage by being able to track their own delivery and gain an electronic
proof of delivery – providing reassurance and confidence particularly to those
buying high-value goods.
In today’s competitive marketplace, offering technology
solutions such as this can make your logistics company more attractive to
businesses and help you to stand out from the crowd.
The Barclays Corporate survey highlighted two key areas in which
those questioned believed that technology will most assist them: warehouse
management and transport planning management.
With regards to warehouse management, the ability to plug an
EPOD solution into your existing warehouse management system (WMS) will allow
you to have better control of stock levels – crucial if you’re to keep things
Once a product has been confirmed as being delivered, its
space in the warehouse can be reallocated to keep everything moving as it
should. If the customer refuses delivery for whatever reason and the item needs
to be sent back to base, data in the WMS is immediately updated accordingly and
you’re kept in the loop.
For transport planning, with data provided in real-time,
you’re able to keep a close eye on your fleet drivers as they go about their
working days. This means you have a chance to analyse and optimise delivery
routes, with the potential to increase productivity and cost-efficiency in the
By knowing where your vehicles are and being alerted when
they’re held up, you can manage your resources more effectively. It may be that
a certain junction is causing regular delays and could be avoided, or a driver
is completing personal errands in between stops – either way, you can take the