UK logistics urges government to delay Brexit amid COVID-19
The UK logistics industry is urging the UK Government to extend the current Brexit transition period to allow companies to deal with the coronavirus.
The logistics sector body, Freight Transport Association (FTA), said: “the challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus will make the effective implementation of any new legislation impossible in the short-term.”
“This isn’t about any relative merits of Brexit, or any trading arrangements which our industry will need to adopt,” confirmed Elizabeth De Jong, Policy Director at FTA. “Logistics is facing unprecedented challenges, both in terms of keeping the UK economy supplied with all the goods it needs to function as well as coping with the increased disruption to staffing levels caused by sickness and self-isolation and concerns about the viability of their businesses.”
Who is the FTA?
The FTA represents members from the road, rail and sea industries. Founded in 1889, FTA defines its mission as “safe, sustainable and efficient logistics.” The organisation has several different roles, such as representing members at local, national and European level and campaigning to raise awareness of the logistics industry. The FTA ensures that its members are up to date with the latest compliance requirements for their businesses and provides a range of training schemes to raise standards and improve working conditions.
- FTA members operate over 200,000 lorries, which is approximately half of the UK’s fleet.
- Members deliver more than 90% of freight moved by rail.
- FTA members are responsible for over 90% of freight moved by rail.
- FTA members consist of 70% of UK visible exports by sea and air.
- In total, the FTA has over 15,000 members and is considered the largest freight trade association in the UK.
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5 minutes with: Ivalua’s Sundar Kamak
Who are you?
My name is Sundar Kamak, I’m Head of Manufacturing Solutions at Ivalua. I’ve been with the company for around two years now, and I’m responsible for our industry solutions and our pre-sales team. Before joining Ivalua I spent almost 20 years in the source-to-pay procurement space, working for a number of providers. But I got my career started in manufacturing and supply chain, specifically in automotive and aerospace.
And what is currently taking up the majority of your professional time?
The last year I've been focused in helping organisations put together a digital transformation strategy, especially manufacturing companies, so they can continue to address some of the challenges they face due to the COVID pandemic.
The traditional approach of engineers designing their latest product then procurement going off to source no longer works
What are the biggest challenges facing your corner of supply chain?
We have a lot of clients coming from different backgrounds - aerospace, high-tech, automotive - and they’re feeling the pressure and the crunch. There’s a lack of product, lack of material availability, lack of resources, labour shortages. So, I work with the leadership in these organisations, try to understand what problems they're looking to solve and come back with Ivalua solutions that can help them address some of these challenges.
Where do the biggest opportunities lie?
If we look at manufacturing, it all comes back to procurement and supply chain being involved sooner in the process. The traditional approach of engineers designing their latest product then procurement going off to source no longer works. It’s important to treat suppliers like partners, which means you build trust, so they can participate very early on in the product design and product development process. It’s not done consistently in the manufacturing sector, but it will be key.