UKWA CEO calls for clarity on when restrictions may be lifted

April 17, 2020

In his latest blog, UKWA CEO Peter Ward says businesses in the sector need to understand the likely phasing for lifting of restrictions in order to plan ahead…

Further to the news on Thursday 16th April that the COVID-19 restrictions are to be extended by at least a further three weeks, UKWA calls on the government for more detail on when it might ease restrictions on certain sectors of the economy.

Whilst fully understanding the reluctance of the government to speculate on the exact timing for the lifting of lockdown, businesses need to understand the phasing that is likely to happen when the time comes.  Facing full capacity because of an inability to move stock, and compounded by unpaid customer bills, UKWA members are looking into the abyss of no information from government.

With a planning horizon and some intelligent forecasting aligned to government thinking, warehouse operators and logistics companies would stand a better chance of survival, knowing what to plan for and how soon after the lifting of lockdown manufacturing and retail sectors might be allowed to resume working.

Through this crisis the importance of the logistics industry has become visible both to government and the public, keeping our country fed and supplied with the products needed.

The re-start will release much needed capacity in the warehousing sector as inbound flows continue to arrive at our ports from overseas, easing the pressure and risks of port congestion.

Some forward visibility is essential for the logistics sector, so vital to the future recovery of our economy, to ride out the storm.  The government must start communicating on what the phasing might look like in the weeks ahead.

Peter Ward

Chief Executive – UK Warehousing Association