AS a lawyer questioned about challenges in the logistics sector it is tempting to stress the importance of preparing for Brexit. Check your contracts and don't get caught out - (a contract 'limited to the geography or law of Europe' for example will be a problem). We are seeing more businesses see the merit in preparing for the future with proper clauses that protect you if a certain event happens, have an 'excusing' clause, monitoring what they cannot control.
Businesses are focused elsewhere it seems. Paragon Software Systems (routing specialists) published a study earlier this year stating that businesses see driver/skills shortages (46 per cent) and the rising cost of transport (16 per cent) as the biggest challenges facing the sector. I asked experts Amanda Wells (FD of Route Logistics) and David Brown (MD of the national pallet network UPN), for comment.
Amanda said: "We have a great retention rate. Drivers give us feedback through regular meetings so we know the day-to-day issues and take on board their views. They are a huge part of the team and the face of the company and we provide a modern & clean fleet for their daily shift. Salaries are monitored so that we offer a good level of salary for the type of work our customers require our drivers to fulfil. Until further clarification can be given re Brexit we will focus on securing growth and providing stability for all employees."
David added: "Our investment in technology, as well as market leading variable pallet sizes, provides our members with the tools they need to maximise return & minimise cost on each run. We have seen a shortage of Class1 & 2 drivers. Companies must look after their staff to ensure retention."
So it seems that being aware of Brexit is important but to stay ahead the focus is on technology, great service and staff retention. Great lessons there for others, and no doubt in many other sectors.
Kevin Rogers is Partner and Chairman at Wilson Browne Solicitors, the NLS Large Law Firm of the Year 2017/18, President of the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce and specialises in acting for the logistics sector. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01536 410014.