A new study from Barclays and BDO has found that confidence in the logistics sector has fallen to the second lowest level on record. That is just above COVID-19 levels. It reports that three-quarters of operators feel business conditions are more difficult now than a year ago. This is partly due to fuel and energy costs remaining high. The Barclays-BDO UK Logistics Confidence Index is at 47.3. This is down from 50.4 in 2022. In 2020, the confidence index stood at 47.1. Any index figure below 50 indicates overall pessimism in the sector. The conclusions of this study are compounded by the recent announcement of the demise one of the UKs well known Logistics companies. Knights of Old and its parent company the KNP Logistics Group are to be liquidated.
The situation within the logistics sector is confusing. One minute we are being told that companies cannot find enough qualified drivers, the next we are hearing about problems due to escalating costs! We do not yet know the full reasons for the demise of Knights of Old. Are they, however, symptomatic of looming problems for many logistics companies? There is continued inability of the Government to move more freight off the roads and onto rail. One would have thought, therefore, that demand for road haulage would remain strong for the foreseeable future despite increasing costs.