Pallet truck suppliers call upon retailers to invest in quality equipment despite drop in sales
As it’s announced that British retail sales fell at the sharpest rate in more than four years during April, one of the country’s leading providers of pallet trucks is advising retailers to invest wisely during these uncertain times. Midland Pallet Trucks, who provide pallet trucks to a range of industries, are highlighting the need for smart investment in equipment so retailers can continue to compete in the changing marketplace.
The revelation comes after a tough couple of months for the British high street. Unsurprisingly, clothing and department store sales fell the sharpest with the change in weather being blamed for the decline. The Confederation of British Industry said that the recent cold snap was, understandably, pushing people away from new spring and summer clothes. However the CBI’s director of economics said that despite the setback, they are expecting a modest rise next month.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks said, “This news comes as one of the largest retailers on the high street, BHS, went into administration, so it is, understandably, worrying times for retailers. As the weather changes and the warmer months etch closer, we should see a spike in sales and retail return to normal. However this disturbing week does highlight the need for wise investment by retailers. Investing in good quality equipment is never a bad idea, and during such competitive times as these, retailers need to make sure they up their game in order to stay competitive.”
Pallet trucks have a wide range of advantages for a whole host of businesses, however one of the most important features is boosting productivity. Some trucks are able to carry up to 3500 kilograms in weight, which is far more than a single man could carry or transport at once. Small and medium sizes businesses in particular are currently under a lot of pressure to maximise the productivity of their man hours, and with the addition of a pallet truck, larger volumes of goods can be moved in the same amount of time, leading to streamlined work flows and increased efficiency, which will, in turn, provide a higher capacity for profit.
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”