We are compiling resources that could help those in the transport and logistics sector to navigate the current COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ll continue to update resources in this blog post and in this thread on Twitter.

First, we shared a post on the blog last week about COVID-19 in the logistics sector. You can read the post here.

We’re organising other resources and advice below:

  1. Work together to fill resource gaps (sign up to utilise drivers, vehicles, warehouse space, etc. for the national pandemic effort)
  2. Support drivers as key workers (resources on driver welfare)
  3. Pivot to home delivery (to keep businesses – and the economy – running)

 

Work together to fill resource gaps

We shared ideas previously about how the sector should pull together and share resources to ensure people have access to vital food, medical supplies, etc.

See our original thread on this for our initial thoughts on COVID-19 and the logistics sector, and take these words from our founder Dave Pickburn:

“For the logistics sector, now is the time to work together to ensure that people have access to the food, medication and other essentials they need. With that in mind, delivery and logistics businesses should be able to team up, work together & share resources (drivers, vehicles) – so goods get distributed efficiently. We’re all trying to play our part and hopefully, this is a way businesses in the logistics sector can help”.

We’ve been matching up Stream subscribers with over and/or under capacity, but there are many larger groups which are much better placed to organise resources:

 

Support drivers as key workers

The DfT has confirmed that the work of the logistics sector is considered essential and should continue to the greatest extent possible throughout the COVID-19 crisis. This applies to “haulage drivers, managers, warehouse staff and all other logistics professionals”. It is classed as essential to keep all supply chains moving (not only those related to essential food and medical supplies).

You can read the Traffic Commissioners statutory document for COVID-19 contingency and emergency planning, which sets out the response they have adopted, to “support the industry through flexible working practices and a proportionate approach”.

Any travel related to the operation of logistics businesses (including for vehicle maintenance or to a place of work) is considered essential travel at this time. Precautions like social distancing and handwashing are still in force for these workers. The DfT has communicated this with police forces and provided a letter to the FTA and RHA (Road Haulage Association) which can be used as evidence of ‘essential travel’, should workers in the sector need it.

As delivery drivers and logistics staff are now identified as key workers, their welfare is paramount. Here are some resources for looking after drivers:

Training and certification

Protect businesses throughout the sector

Businesses have to keep their operations running so that they are able to support staff and come out of the lockdown in a position to continue trading. In fact, the HSE emphasise in their information on social distancing in the workplace, that employers should “keep your business open… It is important for business to carry on” and advise ensuring employees follow PHE guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.

A joint industry body letter has been sent to the Prime Minister, requesting extra help for the profession during the coronavirus pandemic. The letter, from CILT, the RHA, CCF (Cold Chain Federation), BAR (British Association of Removers), APN (Association of Pallet Networks) and the Transport Association requests further support to prevent “widescale business collapse that could reduce capacity by as much as 50%”, offering suggestions for UK government on ways to ease some of the pressures on UK supply chains.

Business information

Offering home delivery

We’ve already heard from businesses looking to launch new home delivery operations, to get products direct to customers within social distancing advice.

Read our advice on offering home delivery here.

Our partners Brightpearl also have a fantastic resource on delivering direct-to-consumer here.

The biggest change COVID-19 will likely see in the home delivery market is a push to provide contactless proof-of-delivery. This can minimise the risks to drivers and to customers by minimising contact. Offer doorstep delivery and capture ePOD in the form of a photograph only and signed by the driver. The RHA has released some practical legal advice on safely collecting POD during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Lastly, make sure to complete the FTA’s Coronavirus Logistics Impact Survey here and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Road Freight and Logistics survey here so we can all have a better understanding of exactly how the situation is playing out across the sector.