Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Logistics sector sees dip in confidence

12:59 02 March 2013

Ian Carr, haulage and logistics specialist at Grant Thornton East Anglia

Ian Carr, haulage and logistics specialist at Grant Thornton East Anglia

Archant

CONFIDENCE among East Anglian logistics companies has fallen, with consumer demand, margin pressure and fuel costs continue to be major areas of concern, according to new research from Barclays and financial and business advisers Grant Thornton.

shares

The latest UK Logistics Confidence Index, which includes a survey of key decision makers from the East Anglian logistics industry, has fallen 10% from the first half of 2012 to 52.5.

The survey found that 42% of those surveyed do not foresee business conditions improving over the next six months, with a further 41% expecting conditions to be somewhat or much more difficult – a 58% increase from the first half of the year.

Ian Carr, haulage and logistics specialist at Grant Thornton East Anglia, said: “The East Anglian haulage and logistics sector is a key contributor to the region’s GDP and constitutes a real mix of small, medium and large companies which are all impacted by the unrelenting economic climate.

“But it’s the medium sized firms which are most vulnerable as they are not big enough to benefit from large scale efficiencies and not small enough to have the necessary customer agility in a very competitive market. For these firms more than others, consolidation will play a key role in moving forward.

“In the longer term, the region’s sector is also expected to feel the impact of the Thames Gateway, the UK’s new major deep sea container port and Europe’s largest logistics park, when it opens at the end of the year.”

However, the industry appears to be more optimistic for the longer term future with 52% respondents expecting to increase profits, 37 per cent predicting a rise in headcount and 57 per cent expecting to increase capital expenditure over the next six months.

In order to achieve future growth plans, almost half (49%) of respondents will focus on winning new contracts and 48% on maintaining their existing client base, followed by cost control (39%).

A major element in achieving these goals will need to be a focus on real value-added opportunities in the long-term, such as innovative and differentiated services – factors which Barclays says many logistics providers are starting to put high on their agendas.

Gareth Farbon, transport and logistics specialist at Barclays Eastern region, said: “Logistics businesses have often been viewed as ‘commodity’ type providers by their customers, and therefore the development and offering of new services across the entire supply chain will help to change this perception.

“Greater opportunities in collaboration exist, but the challenge is getting the much needed buy-in and change amongst all customers.”

Ian Carr addedd: “In the last year our local team has completed several transactions in the logistics sector. We anticipate further merger and acquisition activity across the sector in the short-term driven by several factors - the need to achieve scale, geographic expansion and further service offerings in order to be able to offer end-to-end solutions for customers.”

shares

0 comments

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

Development of Sizewell C took a huge step forward today as the companies were announced that will build its sister nuclear power station in Somerset.

Gary Allen, operations manager,  with Diane Allen and Graham Allen at Ipswich-based Ajax Domestic Spares which is celebratiing 40 years in business.

Ajax Domestic Spares has marked 40 years in business in style by launching a new showroom in Foxhall Road, Ipswich.

The Willis building in Ipswich.

Around 200 people are to lose their jobs at the Ipswich office of global insurance broker and risk management group Willis.

The Great House restaurant with rooms in Lavenham.

An award-winning Suffolk restaurant has gained another accolade after being ranked the 26th best in the country.

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT.

Photo: BT

BT is to pay out up to £129million to extend the Government-led roll-out of superfast broadband, after a bigger-than-expected take-up of the service.

Centrica has reignited controversy over high energy bills by announcing a 44% increase in first half profits at its British Gas retail division.

Energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and Centrica today revealed plans to axe a total of more than 12,000 jobs.

Christopher Hayman of Hayman Distillers with his children Miranda and James.

Essex gin maker Hayman Distillers is celebrating after winning a Gold award at this year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC).

Bakery chain Greggs saw like-for-like sales rise 5.9% in the six months to July 4.

Higher breakfast sales and a bigger range of healthier products helped Greggs grow underlying profits by 51% in the first half of the year.

Barclays chairman 

John McFarlane.
Photo: VisMedia

Barclays boss John McFarlane today signalled plans to ramp up growth, squeeze costs and streamline the business after announcing a 25% rise in first half profits.

Uncertainty over Government policy is holding back potential investment in the offshore wind sector, according to East of England Energy Zone director James Gray.

The absence of a clear Government stategy is leaving the offshore wind industry “in limbo”, according to a leading figure within the sector in East Anglia.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages