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COVID-19 & Its Impact on the UK Haulage Sector

We explore the current COVID-19 Pandemic and the consequent social and economic crisis. We look at how this is likely to evolve over time and we develop a number of possible recovery scenarios.

COVID-19

COVID-19 update from our CEO, Kieran Smith

Only very recently it was business as usual and few of us would have appreciated that we would soon be facing the worst recession since the 2nd World War, but that is the bleak reality now. The recent events have stunned us. Two months ago, it would have been hard to imagine the lock-down and the severity of its impact on our personal and working lives. Who would have predicted a 30-40% drop in the UK stock market within a four-week period?

In mid-March, I presented at the DAF Leaders in Business event on the potential LGV Driver Shortage and the potential consequences of the impending IR35 reforms and Brexit. We had engaging discussions, but at no point do I remember the coronavirus Pandemic coming into the conversation. IR35 reform, Brexit and the new immigration rules were the main concerns relating to potential labour supply shortages. Who’s bothered about Brexit now? Is it even relevant anymore?

All economic indicators are already predicting a decline that will be worse than the “Great Recession” triggered by the 2008 Financial Crisis, and every day the pundits’ predictions become more and more pessimistic. Expert economists are comparing this crisis to the economic conditions following the Second World War. There is also much speculation about how the recession will pan out, with a veritable alphabet of what sort of shape it will take: V-shaped, W, U or L.

The important thing for us in the UK Haulage Sector is how it will affect us and, from our own interest as a temporary driver supplier, how it will impact employment numbers in the logistics market. If it’s anything like the Great Recession of 2008, the effect on the Haulage Sector will be exaggerated compared to other sectors. The effect of COVID-19 has been to force the closure of many manufacturers which in turn disrupts supply chains and delays the ability of business to resume operations. This has far-reaching consequences across all sectors.

Our Report COVID-19 & Its Impact on the UK Haulage Sector is structured into 3 sections:

Report 1SECTION 1: Economic Crisis, Recession & Recovery Scenarios

We explore the current COVID-19 Pandemic and the consequent social and economic crisis. We look at how this is likely to evolve over time and we develop a number of possible recovery scenarios.


Report 2SECTION 2: The Effects of Recession on the UK Haulage Sector

We look at lessons from the 2008 Great Recession. We interpret how this affected the UK haulage industry and in particular employment numbers within the Transport and Storage Sector then, more granularly, the UK LGV driver workforce.


Report 3SECTION 3: What is the Future for the UK Haulage Sector after COVID-19?

In the third part we combine the key conclusions from the previous two sections to predict how the UK Haulage Sector and the LGV driver market will be affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic crisis, the subsequent recession and recovery.


We are in an extremely volatile period, with significant developments occurring daily and a prolific amount of new data regularly being disseminated. This means that this report will need continuous maintenance to keep it current. We nevertheless hope that it will provide a useful basis for understanding our current circumstances, how these are likely to evolve and help hauliers decide what to do now to maximise their chances of survival to eventually come out with increased competitive advantage.

Our COVID-19 report is available to download here


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