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A road as seen from above. Our latest survey assesses the expectations of the logistics sector.

Logistics Confidence Index

Barclays and BDO, in conjunction with specialist sector research agency Analytiqa, have undertaken the latest in our series of surveys to assess confidence and expectations in the UK logistics sector.

Confidence and expectations in the UK logistics sector

More than 100 senior decision-makers – including chief executive officers, managing directors and chief financial officers – provided their views and insights for this survey, conducted during July and August 2021.

Dramatic return of confidence

Demonstrating significant levels of renewed optimism, our Logistics Confidence Index has risen to 62.5, its highest level since H1 2015. The dramatic rise in sector positivity – larger than any previous single increase since our research began in 2012.

60% of respondents in our research say business conditions are more difficult now than 12 months ago. However, despite recognising obstacles that include global trade imbalances and an exacerbated shortage of drivers, logistics operators are much more confident about the future.

Read the full report below to find out what this might mean for future investment in infrastructure, technology and sustainability; impacts on the workforce; and how the UK logistics sector can continue to add value to customers.

  • Key takeaways
    • Our Logistics Confidence Index has risen to 62.5, its highest level since H1 2015
    • 40% of operators foresee business conditions getting more difficult in the year ahead, but an encouraging share of respondents, 60%, expect conditions to stay the same or be more favourable
    • More than three quarters of operators predict turnover will rise in the next 12 months, and they’re optimistic about profitability, too, with 62% expecting increased profits, up 13% on 2020
    • Post-Brexit, 39% of companies believe they will do less business with EU customers in the next 12 months. At the same time, half of companies expect to do more business in the UK
    • In line with a broader economic recovery, more than a quarter of operators say their biggest source of new business is current customers expanding, a 7% rise on the results from our pre-pandemic survey in 2019
    • An all-time high 42% of respondents say they are likely to make acquisitions over the next 12 months with economies of scale and expansion of service offer the main drivers
    • Eight out of 10 survey respondents feel confident enough to say they are likely to make significant capital expenditure over the next 12 months
    • Almost all respondents believe staff shortages and increased labour costs are the greatest business challenge they face in the next year
    • As the industry’s driver crisis gets even worse, 96% of logistics operators say they have had to improve staff pay and conditions in the last 12 months
    • There is expectation of increased prices across the global supply chain.
  • Industry Insight – Xpediator
  • Industry Insight – Trans Global
  • Industry Insight – GXO

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