In what feels like increasingly uncertain times, growing confidence in the industry might be the last thing you’d expect, but that’s exactly what’s been shown in Barclays’ latest H2 UK Logistics Confidence Index.
Based on the opinions and expertise of over 100 logistics CEOs, FDs and MDs from mid-July to early September of this year, the report – the first since the EU referendum – shows an increase in confidence after four successive dips, moving from 51.8 to 53.0. While this is still lower than previous years, it marks the first increase since 2013.
A Swing to Optimism
In previous years, industry experts seem to have become increasingly pessimistic about current conditions and their predictions for the future, but the H2 report shows a long overdue swing to optimism. Whereas the H1 report saw 43% of respondents believing conditions were worse, now 43.9% believe they are stable and 14% even believe they have improved.
The Brexit Effect
Much of this upturn in confidence could be attributed to encouraging economic data in a post-referendum world. Despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the UK’s economy is expected to grow in 2017 and the latest from Moody’s is that we are expected to avoid a recession. Some businesses also reported an increased confidence in securing trade deals with the rest of the world once we have left the EU.
While Brexit continues to breed uncertainty and the expectation of new challenges, such as a decrease in skilled labour, increased border controls, and doubt over trade agreements, the general feeling is that things have not been quite as bad as we first thought.
In fact, the depreciation of sterling has even given exports a boost. It seems that things have calmed down both politically and economically and most business leaders feel that, while the future is never certain, for now conditions seem far more stable and positive than anticipated – giving us breathing room to prepare and feel optimistic once more.
Confidence in Waller
We’re certainly mirroring this renewal of confidence in UK logistics here at Waller Transport Services. After a 20% gain on annual turnover in the last 10 months, and growing business despite the outcome of the referendum, we’ve opened a new depot in Hull and have plans for further investment throughout the company over the coming months.
We feel it’s important to capitalise on this upswing in industry and consumer confidence, while strengthening Waller’s ability to meet customer needs for the future. If you’d like to find out more about the services we provide, please get in touch with us today.