2021 sees Kersey Freight invest in 18 new Scania trucks

2021 sees Kersey Freight invest in 18 new Scania trucks

13.1.2021 | Haulage

2021 sees Kersey Freight invest in 18 new Scania trucks

Vehicle purchase based on impressive fuel efficiency, driver comfort and reliability.

UK road haulage specialists Kersey Freight is taking delivery of 18 new Scania S rear tag trucks this year.

Robert Steele, fleet and transport manager of the Hadleigh based haulier, says of the investment: “We take pride in our 65-vehicle fleet and how we present ourselves at all times. As such we operate a three-year replacement programme, which is staggered throughout the year; this latest investment forms part of that ongoing commitment to operate the cleanest trucks available and ensures our obligation to the environment.”

Having purchased the new vehicles through TruckEast in Stowmarket, Robert goes on to say: “We run a mixed fleet, of Scania and Mercedes, but also have two new Volvos arriving in February.

“Our decision to purchase the Scania S rear tag is based on their impressive fuel efficiency, driver comfort, which is a key concern for us, and their reliability.”

For more information about Kersey Freight visit kerseyfreight.com

Port of Felixstowe selected for UK Government 5G trial

Port of Felixstowe selected for UK Government 5G trial

13.1.2021 | Ports

Port of Felixstowe selected for UK Government 5G trial

Suffolk port chosen as part of the Government’s Trials and Testbeds Programme to drive investment and innovation in 5G.

Hutchison Ports’ Port of Felixstowe will be the largest UK port to deploy 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance productivity, efficiency and safety across its core operations.

Using a 5G Private Network installed by Three UK, the port’s installation has been selected as part of the Government’s 5G Trials and Testbeds Programme to drive investment and innovation in 5G and support the development of new use cases and commercial deployment.

The £3.4 million project has received £1.6 million from the Government as part of 5G Create, a competition to support innovators exploring new uses for 5G to improve people’s lives and boost British businesses.

Working with its partners Three UK, Cambridge University and Blue Mesh Solutions, along with key subcontractors Ericsson and Siemens, the project will test the potential of 5G across two use cases: enabling remote-controlled cranes via the transmission of CCTV and; deploying Internet of Things sensors and Artificial Intelligence to optimise the predicative maintenance cycle of Felixstowe’s 31 quayside and 82-yard cranes.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said:

“We want to unlock 5G’s potential to revolutionise a wide range of UK industries and 5G Ports is just one project the government is backing to achieve this.

“Our ports will be more vital than ever as we forge an ambitious new global trading position for the UK post-Brexit, so I’m eager to see what 5G can do to maximise efficiency at Britain’s biggest and busiest container port in Felixstowe.”

Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer Hutchison Ports UK, added:

“Being the largest UK port to introduce 5G technology will allow the Port of Felixstowe to deploy innovative technologies to boost efficiency and improve safety for our workforce.”

The Port of Felixstowe, together with Hutchison Ports’ Harwich International Port, is part of the Freeport East project team to create a major Freeport centred on the two East Coast ports. The 5G trial will help deliver on the Government’s objective for Freeports to act as hotbeds for innovation.

For more information about Port of Felixstowe visit portoffelixstowe.co.uk

Vaccinate us say Customs staff to keep trade moving

Vaccinate us say Customs staff to keep trade moving

13.1.2021 | Ports

Vaccinate us say Customs staff to keep trade moving

Road Haulage Association supports the argument to accelerate vaccinations of port and customs staff.

Customs operators have pleaded with the government to prioritise vaccinations for staff they insist are key front-line workers in the effort to keep vital supplies flowing into the UK.

Reported by the BBC today (13th January), one operator said his staff were working flat out – often up to 16 hours a day – to help traders comply with the new post-Brexit customs requirements.

“A Covid outbreak would be disastrous. Customs clearance staff should be identified as key workers and fast-tracked for vaccination.”

Rod McKenzie of the Road Haulage Association supports the argument to accelerate vaccinations of port and customs staff. “Customs agents are absolutely swamped, they are understaffed by tens of thousands and although volumes have been light thanks to pre-Christmas and pre-Brexit stockpiling, we are approaching a critical point.”

Steve Cock of logistics firm KGH said that volume would begin to build this week and described Friday as “a moment of truth” as volumes would be close to normal, imposing the first serious test of the system’s capacity.

The government told the BBC that vaccination priorities were based on clinical vulnerability determined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Although the government said it would be looking at key workers beyond the current priorities – like teachers – that would not come till after phase 1 of the current programme ends. That is not expected till late March at the earliest.

Although the ports themselves have been running reasonably smoothly, that is because many traders aren’t getting as far as the ports as their documentation is not complete.

Source: bbc.co.uk

Could March’s budget see a rise in taxes to cover the cost of Covid?

Could March’s budget see a rise in taxes to cover the cost of Covid?

13.1.2021 | Tax

Could March’s budget see a rise in taxes to cover the cost of Covid?

Andrew Diver, head of taxation at Beatons Group, explores what could be included in the next budget.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the UK Government has looked to help businesses and the wider public weather the storm financially.

The furlough schemes’ introduction allowed firms to reduce their staff costs and remain afloat, while grants and loans have been offered to companies hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions.

But one question that keeps cropping up is how we will pay for all of this in the long run?

We may find out on March 3, when Rishi Sunak makes his next budget announcement, as it is thought the chancellor will be looking at ways to fund the significant cost of the crisis.

Here, Andrew Diver, head of taxation at Beatons Group, explores what could be included in the next budget.

Which taxes could we see rise?
The main area of speculation lies around Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Mr Sunak previously asked the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to review the tax, and they have come back with 11 recommendations.

CGT is a tax on the profit from the disposal (sale or transfer) of an asset that has risen in value.

It is on most personal items worth £6,000 or more, apart from your car and a property which is your main home.

However, you only have to pay CGT on gains above your tax-free allowance, which is £12,300.

It is clear from the OTS recommendations that an increase in capital gains tax is likely; however, what increase we will see and when it will come into effect is more uncertain.

What could change?
There are three potential areas where we could see an increase in CGT – rates, annual exemption, and business relief.

Rates could increase as currently, CGT rates are significantly lower than income tax rates even for residential disposals.

The Treasury may seek to increase rates to be closer to income tax rates.

The annual exemption from capital gains tax is currently £12,300, enabling those with relatively liquid assets, such as shares, to make annual disposals to benefit from increases in value without paying any tax.

However, the OTS has suggested the levels are simply too high if this level is set as a de-minimus to remove smaller transactions.

Business Asset Disposal Relief, more commonly known as Entrepreneurs Relief, can result in a capital gains tax rate of just 10% on the disposal of certain shares or business assets.

One of the OTS recommendations is on how this relief is applied.

For many years, the Treasury has been concerned at the cost of Entrepreneurs Relief as it has cost more than five times its original forecast amount.

Are there any opportunities from a rise in CGT?
This may be the last tax year where the annual exemption is set at the lower level so there could be merits in using this while it is available.

We are also seeing a number of business owners considering voluntary liquidations to wind up their business to realise the value of the business benefitting from the 10% rate.

It may also be a good time to put in an offer into a competitor who might be more amenable to an exit with the threat of higher tax rates on a disposal following the March 3 budget.

I would also recommend businesses get sound financial advice to make the most of any changes to tax rules.

If your business needs financial advice ahead of the budget in March, visit beatons.co.uk

Helping to look after employees and customers during CV-19

Helping to look after employees and customers during CV-19

13.1.2021 | Risk Management

Helping to look after employees and customers during CV-19

Employers tasked with providing Covid safe environments for staff to go about their work.

In this, our third lockdown, many critical industries and sectors rely on their employees reporting for business on a daily basis. Employers are tasked with providing Covid-safe environments for them to go about their work.

Miles Vartan, Managing Director of compliance specialists VARTAN, says: “The Department of Transport has confirmed that employees in the logistics sector are considered ‘essential workers’ and so it is very much ‘business as usual’ for the industry that keeps the country moving.

“As such, responsibility rests with employers of all sizes to ensure protocols are in place to safeguard their employees, sub-contractors and site visitors alike.

“This pandemic has seen the development of risk assessments to cover previously unimaginable scenarios. For example, what do you need to do if an employee working in your warehouse tests positive; or if an agency driver needs to drive one of your vehicles? It’s not enough to speculate about what procedures would need to be implemented; full assessments with innovative solutions need to be put in place and reviewed regularly.”

VARTAN’s Return to Work Risk Assessment Package consists of a comprehensive risk assessment document together, with a robust checklist to ensure that all key risks are covered. Miles Vartan continues: “This package has already been purchased by a number of companies and provides valuable advice which is applicable across all workplaces. However, if you would like a more bespoke approach to your Covid policy, our specialist advisers are on hand to assist.”

To purchase and download the Return to Work Risk Assessment Package or find out more about VARTAN, visit vartanconsultancy.com