The industry responds to the 2016 Autumn Statement.
2016 Autumn Statement response by Peter Ward, CEO of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA)
“The Autumn Statement gives some indication of what we might expect from the Government’s forthcoming Industrial Strategy and UKWA members will have been encouraged by the fact that the Chancellor is clearly focused on delivering the infrastructure upgrades that are needed to support a productive economy.
“Mr Hammond’s pledge to spend £23bn on innovation and infrastructure over five years and, in particular, his plan to commit £1.1bn extra investment in English local transport networks and £220m to reduce traffic pinch points, is particularly welcome news.
“Investment on this scale is clearly needed to support a logistics sector which is underpinning the rise of e-commerce.
“The decision not to raise fuel duty for the seventh year in succession will also be warmly welcomed by UKWA members. It will reduce the cost pressures on UK supply chains, which, in turn, will stimulate further growth in the nation’s economy.
“However, the Chancellor’s stark comments regarding the wider post-Brexit economic challenges that face the nation reinforce the critically important role that UKWA will be playing as the voice of the logistics sector in supporting the government's negotiations over the next few years.
“It is essential that our members are properly represented and for the government to fully understand the serious implications from a logistics perspective of our trading relationships with Europe and the rest of the world.
“This work has already started and we are working hard to help our members and the nation achieve the best possible outcome in the post-Brexit world."
Autumn Statement delivers for delivery companies, says ParcelHero
While reaction to the Autumn Statement has been mixed, the good news is the measures announced should help keep parcel prices down and ease delivery delays, says the international Parcel broker ParcelHero.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT says: ‘The extra £1.1bn investment in English local transport networks, and £220m to reduce traffic pinch points, will ensure urgent parcels are not delayed. Congestion increases costs and delays deliveries, so any steps taken to reduce jams are welcome.’
In addition, David says that new money for research into low-emission transport and autonomous vehicles means home delivery will increasingly become the green choice for the future; over wasteful car journeys to city centres and out of town stores. ‘As technology develops green automated vehicles will significantly reduce CO2 emissions in our towns and cities,’ says David. ‘The Government’s continued investment in low carbon vehicle technology and autonomous vehicles is to be welcomed.’
The cancellation in the rise of fuel duty was also acknowledged by ParcelHero as a way of ensuring the delivery industry helps keep costs down for consumers: the fuel costs for the average UK delivery van will be reduced by £350 a year in comparison with costs had the rise gone ahead.