Logistics UK responds to plug-in grant reduction

Logistics UK responds to plug-in grant reduction

24.3.2021 | Logistics

Logistics UK responds to grant reduction

“Disappointing changes” announced to truck, van and car plug-in grants.

Speaking about last Thursday’s (18th March) government announcement on a reduction in the government’s plug-in car, van and truck grant, Logistics UK’s Head of Public Policy Michelle Gardner said:

“Switching to zero and ultra-low emission vehicles is an important focus for the logistics industry, as it works to achieve the government’s zero emissions target by 2050. It is therefore disappointing to see the changes announced today to the government’s plug-in car, van and truck grants, which have been reduced for the vast majority of available models. Logistics UK’s members are committed to making the switch to alternatively fuelled vehicles, but with the market still to reach maturity, options are limited for operators and reducing the financial support will hinder this transition. After the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to enable operators to make a change within the lifecycle of their normal vehicle, it is imperative that government lays out a clear policy road map to enable operators to invest confidently while encouraging manufacturers to develop and launch a wider range of suitable vehicles.”

Source: Logistics UK (formerly the FTA)

Brexit support funds opens for applications

Brexit support funds opens for applications

24.3.2021 | Brexit

Brexit support fund opens

£20m fund live for small businesses to adapt to EU customs and tax rules.

Smaller businesses are now able to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund, launched on 15th March, enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes.

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, directors-general, Borders and Trade for HMRC said:

“We recognise that changes to customs rules have been challenging for small and micro businesses, and this is why we are encouraging business owners to apply for support through the SME Brexit Support Fund.

“Small and medium-sized businesses that trade solely with the EU – and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes – are encouraged to apply for the grants.”

The fund, announced in February by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, is the latest round of government support for UK trade.

To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This follows the government setting out a new timetable for introducing import border control processes to enable UK businesses to focus on their recovery. Full import border control processes will now be introduced on 1st January 2022, six months later than originally planned.

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses national chairman, said: “The vast majority of UK small firms that do business overseas trade with the EU. Not only are they trying to stay afloat as lockdowns gradually ease, they now have new, unfamiliar paperwork and costs to navigate when they buy from or sell to, Europe.

“We encourage all eligible small businesses to take a look and apply for this new source of help.”

More information about the SME Brexit Support Fund, including details on how to apply can be found here.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC and applications will close on 30th June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.

Source: gov.uk

Q1 showcases Maritime’s commitment to rail

Q1 showcases Maritime’s commitment to rail

24.3.2021 | haulage

Maritime's commitment to rail

Three major announcements in Q1 exemplify the company’s rail strategy. 

It’s been a busy time at Maritime Transport.

Following the recent launch of its Felixstowe to Wakefield service, on 15th March, Maritime announced a further new addition to its expanding intermodal offering, a rail freight service operated by DB Cargo UK connecting the Port of Felixstowe to East Midlands Gateway (EMG).

As the company’s fifth rail service to operate out of the Port of Felixstowe, trains run five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday, bringing the company’s total TEU availability per week to 8,000.

John Bailey, managing director – intermodal and terminals at Maritime says: “Increasing our capacity and logistics efficiency for our customers whilst reducing the need for our HGVs to travel millions of miles each year has always been a vital part of our strategy. Our latest intermodal service really underpins both Maritime’s and DB Cargo UK’s drive to offer more reliability and greater choice to the market.”

Six intermodal services now operate in and out of Maritime’s 17-acre EMG terminal daily, connecting the East Midlands region with Felixstowe, London Gateway, Southampton, and Liverpool, and to service its growing customer base, Maritime has expanded its on-site operational team from three employees in April 2019 to the current ten.

In the same week, Maritime announced it had secured a two-year contract with global container operator and long-standing customer, A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk), to provide committed space for the movement of containers by rail across the UK.

The new contract enables Maersk to utilise four of Maritime’s intermodal services daily, including two from the Port of Felixstowe to Maritime’s Wakefield and East Midlands Gateway terminals, and two from DP World London Gateway to Wakefield and Maritime’s terminal at Trafford Park.

The contract, which went live at the start of March, will see the movement by rail of at least 25,000 Maersk containers annually and is an extension of the current cooperation under which Maritime performs regular container movements for Maersk by road and rail. Regular cooperation between Maritime and Maersk began in January 2010.

“A.P. Moller – Maersk has increased its cooperation with Maritime significantly over the years who currently operate at all of the UK ports and inland terminals we use for our intermodal services,” said Steve New, execution manager at Maersk. “Maersk is upholding its status as a global provider of integrated end-to-end container logistics services by working with local partners who can help us deliver tailored solutions for our changing customers’ needs in a sustainable way; Maritime’s extensive rail network and haulage reliability is a perfect match to achieve that goal.”

And, last but by no means least, Maritime’s rail division, Maritime Intermodal, and DB Cargo UK were both delighted to be named joint winners of the Rail Freight and Logistics Excellence category at this year’s Rail Business Awards.

The award, sponsored by the Institution of Railway Operators, recognises the innovative intermodal partnership between two of the of the UK’s leading road and rail operators.

Working with DB Cargo UK since April 2019, Simon Smart, Maritime CEO said of the accolade: “This award truly reflects the outstanding work carried out by drivers and staff at Maritime and DB Cargo UK who deliver an unparalleled service to our customers. The rail freight sector is a significant part of UK logistics and we look forward to continuing a long and prosperous partnership with DB Cargo UK, enhancing our capability, reducing our carbon footprint, and continuing to offer increased efficiency and reliability.”

For more information about Maritime Transport visit maritimetransport.com 

The east is getting a Freeport – how will it benefit the region?

The east is getting a Freeport – how will it benefit the region?

24.3.2021 | Tax

How will the freeport benefit the region?

Beatons’ Nick Marshall explores the impact it may have. 

This month, the Chancellor announced eight new freeports were being created across the UK – including one in the East of England.

These new trade zones look to give their regions’ economies a kickstart as the pandemic subsides.

But what exactly is a freeport, and how will it help in the region’s economic recovery?

Here, Nick Marshall, Director at Beatons Group, explores the impact the new freeport in Felixstowe and Harwich could have.

What is a freeport?
Essentially, a freeport is an economic zone free from the usual tax and customs rules.

Goods can enter the freeport using simplified customs documents and without the need to pay tariffs.

The Government announced the East’s new freeport would be centred around the Port of Felixstowe and Harwich International Port.

The Chancellor hopes the freeports will lead to new investment in the region as well as the creation of hundreds of new jobs.

However, detractors argue rather than boosting the economy for everybody; the freeport could concentrate the benefits in one place.

The benefits
Those favouring freeports argue they stimulate growth in an area by encouraging new investment and creating jobs while stimulating business through the available tax breaks.

They argue freeports can concentrate on certain industries in one place, creating centres for innovation and driving growth.

One big advantage of having a freeport in the region is the boost to imports, with companies benefiting from lower duty costs and less red tape.

Freeports are not a new idea – the UK had seven of them between 1984 and 2012 – with previous locations including Liverpool, Port of Tilbury, and Southampton.

Leaders of the bid for a freeport in the east estimate it could create 13,500 jobs in the area and attract up to £650million of investment to the region.

The freeport could also be beneficial for the environment.
Those leading the freeport bid look to create a hub for green technology and develop a Green Hydrogen Hub for use across the freight sector.

Some fear the creation of a freeport, rather than attract investment, will merely concentrate it in one place.

If businesses move from other parts of the region to take advantage of the freeport’s tax breaks, it may become a drain, limiting economic growth to the freeport zone alone.

We will have to keep a close eye to see if the freeport delivers what it promises.

For more information about Beatons Group, visit beatonsgroup.co.uk

Free online webinars for SMEs

Free online webinars for SMEs

24.3.2021 | Logistics

Free online webinars

TALE offers registered SMEs 9 hours of free mentoring.

Mentoring (worth £1,200) can be on one or more themes such as: leading change, reviewing your operations and processes, and making your website an effective marketing channel.

We also have two online group coaching series coming up: financial planning for non-financial entrepreneurs and improving business performance with Microsoft 365.

Having attended the Financial Planning for Non-financial Entrepreneur’s webinars, Rachael Giordani, financial director at Pioppo Limited, said:

“My colleague and I really enjoyed the course. It helped us review our current bookkeeping activities. It also improved our knowledge of the terminology used in accounting, which allows us to have more meaningful conversations with our accountant.”

The TALE (Transport and Logistical Efficiencies) programme is open to SMEs with a logistics function, including freight transport, manufacturing, and distribution – any company moving goods from A to B. It’s easy to register; get in touch to start the process.

TALE grants up to £10,000 are also available, with grant applications closing on 30th April 2021. TALE is funded by ERDF.

TALE is an ERDF-funded programme.