The latest edition of the Santander Trade Barometer reveals more than three-quarters of the UK’s transport and logistics businesses are confident they will grow over the next three years – a greater proportion than in any other sector of the British economy.
This optimism is testament to the resilience and can-do attitude that characterises the industry. But I think it is particularly impressive and noteworthy given the challenges that transport and logistics firms face at present.
Our research suggests the most keenly felt of these challenges is the general economic outlook for the UK: more than half (53%) of transport and logistics companies expect a domestic slowdown to have a negative impact in the 12 months ahead, while the same proportion are concerned about potential interest rate rises in 2018.
Transport and logistics businesses are some of the biggest purchasers of capital equipment across the economy; they are also among the most likely to rely on support such as working capital facilities or invoice finance for day-to-day funding.
It is clear from the Trade Barometer that staffing and productivity issues remain high on the agenda for the sector. When it comes to plans for growth over the coming year, the vast majority of transport and logistics firms – at 86%, the highest proportion in any of the industries surveyed – say they would like to hire more staff.