Freight sector needs to improve facilities in two years or face new tax, warns Transport Select Committee - CILT(UK)
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Freight sector needs to improve facilities in two years or face new tax, warns Transport Select Committee

01 June 2022/Categories: CILT, Industry News, Logistics & Supply Chain

MPs on the Transport Committee warn that radical surgery is needed to ensure a more robust and resilient UK road freight supply chain and workforce. 

In Road freight supply chain, MPs urge Government to ‘level up’ the supply chain. The Committee urges Ministers to give the logistics sector two years to deliver sufficient drivers, workers and facilities, including high-quality services and welfare.

Failure to do so should see the government implement a Supply Chain Levy to assist in building facilities and training new drivers, conclude MPs. The Levy would require the parts of the supply chain where margins are greatest - such as large retailers, oil companies and online service giants - to deliver improved standards and resilience to the supply chain which they themselves require.

Commenting on the report released, Kevin Richardson FCILT, Chief Executive at CILT(UK) said:

"CILT is pleased to see the Transport Select Committee stepping up to address and consider the issues in our sector. The Institute welcomes the release of the report, its conclusions, and the work of the Committee – which is a positive step in understanding the issues the sector faces.

"However many of the challenges discussed in the report are beyond the direct control of the sector and the organisations operating within it. As a result, we urge the Government to collaborate with the sector in helping to raise the profile of the profession, recruit a more diverse workforce and improve facilities nationwide. 

"CILT is calling on the government to work collaboratively with business to tackle these important challenges and transform the sector, rather than placing the emphasis on the organisations which operate within it.

"We would therefore like to see more support, assistance and initiatives from Government than those suggested within the report to ensure that supply chains are recognised as critical infrastructure for the economy and those working within it are recognised and treated on the basis of the enormous value that they deliver.”

David Wells OBE, Chief Executive at Logistics UK Said: 

“The report’s overview of the sector’s recruitment issues is confused and misleading. Like nearly every other industry in the UK, logistics is facing issues caused by a combination of factors, none of which are within its’ control. These include an ageing workforce, the loss of European workers after Brexit and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on testing of new HGV drivers.   The industry has already come together to create and fund a massive skills and recruitment campaign, aimed at young people, women and other under-represented groups, to attract new talent into the sector."

The Chair of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman MP said:

“We urge Government to be brave and force the sector to get its house in order. A Supply Chain Levy has worked previously to incentivise reform. If the industry won’t deliver change, Government should do so and send them the bill via increased taxes to those who produce and sell and make the most profits. This must be accompanied by minimum standards for planning, facilities and employers’ treatment of HGV drivers and seafarers. It’s the least we can ask for those who work so hard to deliver our goods to us.

“The pandemic turned a chronic problem of a lack of HGV drivers into an acute one. Yet again, the Government had to step in to shore up a private sector which failed to mend its fragile roof in sunnier times. The industry needs an expensive incentive to fix its problems rather than expect the Government, and taxpayer, to step in when we inevitably encounter the next crisis. The dire alternative is that drivers will go elsewhere and the essential goods we take for granted will be in short supply.”



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