May 17, 2020

COVID-19: UK Logistics workers classed as ‘key workers’

Georgia Wilson
3 min
multiple logistics transportation methods
As the coronavirus continues to spread within the UK, logistics workers have been classified as key workers.

Following the UK’s announcement at 8:30P...

As the coronavirus continues to spread within the UK, logistics workers have been classified as key workers.

Following the UK’s announcement at 8:30PM (UK Time) on March 23, in which Boris Johnson, placed strict new regulations on the citizens of the UK, in which anyone who is not a key worker must remain at home, unless they are traveling to the shop for necessities, exercise, caring for vulnerable people or have medical needs. 

Today it has been reported that UK logistics workers have been considered a ‘key worker’ within the COVID-19 government pandemic plan, something which has been welcomed by the Freight Transportation Association (FTA) alongside other trading bodies.

“Today’s announcement is great news for FTA and its members, who are currently working under extreme pressure to ensure the resilience of the UK’s supply chain,” says Elizabeth de Jong, FTA’s policy director. “Over the past few days, 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.”


As part of this definition as ‘key workers’ those within the logistics industry can apply for access to schooling for their children during the COVID-19 response period, a welcome relief for those who are currently dedicated to working round the clock to maintain a resilient supply chain as much as possible. “Their efforts are vital to the continued provision of goods and services to all the elements of the UK economy,” continues de Jong.

Those within logistics that will be keeping their transport modes open during the crisis include the following: air, water, road, rail passenger and freight transport.

In addition, those who are working on the transport system, which supply chains pass along, including food and goods for distribution, sale and delivery, as well as other key goods are included on the list of ‘key workers’.

“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 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.”

To discover the expectations for the supply chain following the end to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, check out our article on global supply chains to see a major reshuffle.

“We are going to see massive restructuring of supply chains,” “I don’t think things will return to normal as we’ve known them over the last couple of decades,” commented Alex Capri,from the National University of Singapore’s business school on the topic of supply chains reshuffling following the end to the outbreak. “We are in a completely different new era now and globalisation as we’ve known it in the past is over.”

spread of COVID-19

Image source: CNBC

For more information on procurement, supply chain and logistics topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

Share article

Jun 24, 2021

Kuehne+Nagel cuts carbon footprint by 70% for Honda China

2 min
Road-to-rail logistics solution will reduce carbon emissions at the automaker by 70%, stripping 16,000 tonnes of CO2 from its supply chain

Around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 has been cut from supply chain of Honda's China-based manufacturing division through a road-to-rail transformation in partnership with logistics leader Kuehne+Nagel

The programme was developed through KN Sincero, the joint venture between Swiss headquartered Kuehne+Nagel and Chinese automotive logistics firm Sincero, established in 2018. 

KN Sincero worked with Honda China to develop an integrated solution to convert much of its domestic long-haul trucking to train lines, using regional hubs to improve supply chain performance and further reduce carbon emissions. The programme delivered consolidations as well as value-added services, including sorting, scanning, repackaging, GPS track and trace, and recyclable container management. 

"Kuehne+Nagel has always been a supply chain partner that we can rely on, to help us improve our supply chain performance whilst also achieving our environmental goals,” said Mr. Jiang Hui and Mr. Takuji Kitamura, Joint General Manager of Wuhan Dong Hon, the logistics affiliate of Dongfong Honda Automotive. 

After six months of shifting to the road-to-rail model, new supply chain reliability and efficiencies are expected too trip 16,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The carbon savings represent an enormous 70% reduction in total. 

"Automotive is one of the most important sectors in contract logistics, particularly in China, the world’s largest automotive market,” added Gianfranco Sgro, member of the Management Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, responsible for Contract Logistics. “I am glad that Kuehne+Nagel and Honda share a common vision of service, innovation and sustainability.”

Kuehne+Nagel’s Net Zero Carbon programme 

Kuehne+Nagel announced its Net Zero Carbon programme in 2019 with a dual purpose to reduce CO2 output in its own logistics operations, as well as partnering with organisations to minimise their own impact on the planet. Kuehne+Nagel reached carbon neutrality globally in 2020 throughout its own, direct emissions, and is now focused on developing its capabilities to serve partners. 

Dr. Detlef Trefzger, Chief Executive Officer of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, said the programme is “a package of measures to fight CO2 emissions and provide sustainable and innovative supply chain solutions – hand in hand with our suppliers and customers”. 

As part of the initiative, Kuehne+Nagel established its own nature projects in Myanmar and New Zealand, and invested in ‘nature-based’ carbon dioxide compensation projects to strip harmful emissions from the environment. It is committed to being CO2 neutral for shipments in its network of transport suppliers by 2030. 

Share article