Multimodal Special – Delivering Effective Logistics Solutions

Multimodal Special – Delivering Effective Logistics Solutions

19.10.2021 | Industry matters

Multimodal Special

On The Swain Group’s second outing to Multimodal, we catch up with group managing director, Matthew Deer, who is looking forward to launching new services at this year’s show.

How did you get into the industry, and what keeps you in it?

I was very fortunate to have been given an opportunity at a very early stage in my career to operate my own trades when I joined Nedlloyd in 1993. This was a great time to be based in the UK because shipping lines were moving into new trade lanes, and most of the global container trade management made a move to set up in the UK. For the next 12 years, I worked with several other container companies, mainly in trade management and, for a short period, global accounts, until I decided to move to a global logistics provider. This then introduced me to other products – air, road, warehousing and supply chain management.

I would encourage anyone to get into logistics. I’ve travelled worldwide throughout my career and had the privilege to see different cultures and different ways to do business. Training has always been available, which has definitely helped me grow. I had the honour to get sponsored in 2009 to complete my MSc in supply chain management and logistics.

It breaks my heart to see so many graduates come out of university with massive debts, which they’ll be paying for the rest of their careers. In my view, there is another way, and we should be selling a route into logistics at schools and colleges better.

With the return of Multimodal this year, what are your hopes for the exhibition?

This will be our second year as The Swain Group, and we are really looking forward to a successful exhibition. 2019 was a chance for us to demonstrate our diverse transportation businesses, all of which are very distinctive.

For this year, we have some new services we’re launching at Multimodal, and it’s always a great place to meet new customers and catch up with friends in the industry.

Experiencing some of its most turbulent times, if you could wave a magic wand and fix three issues facing the industry, what would they be?

• Recruitment – this has been a significant obstacle for a number of years.

• The pay across the industry can differ hugely, and we need to make candidates aware of all the opportunities available in logistics if they are to have the opportunity to grow.

• I often ask myself why I’ve continued to stay in logistics when we struggle to recruit. Do we have the same career development opportunities as we did ten or twenty years ago? The sector has definitely changed, but I feel there is more scope available now than before.

What lessons do you think the sector has learnt having kept Britain moving throughout the pandemic?

Firstly, we need to have stronger industry associations representing small to medium-sized firms that are still a major part of the UK logistics industry.

We also need to ensure we have the resources to remain agile to implement change with constantly evolving market forces.

Five years from now, will the future be bright for UK logistics?

With net-zero on all our strategic targets, this will be a huge challenge with the timeframe set by the government. As a significant UK transportation company, we recognise that the use of alternative fuel and electric vehicles requires infrastructure development, and we are already testing and closely monitoring how best to position The Swain Group.

Matthew Deer, The Swain Group

Visit The Swain Group on stand 8040, Multimodal 2021.

Multimodal  Special – The Man Behind Multimodal

Multimodal Special – The Man Behind Multimodal

19.10.2021 | Industry matters

The man behind multimodal 2021

Event director Robert Jervis, shares his passion for logistics and his aspirations for this year’s event.

How did you get into the industry, and what keeps you in it?

I fell into it. I was working for News International selling advertising space on The Times – and hating daily deadlines. So, I joined a small publishing company that also ran shows about port equipment – and have been “hooked” ever since. The first event I worked on was TOC – which is still going strong today.

With the return of Multimodal this year, what are your hopes for the exhibition?

That everyone enjoys themselves and wants to come again next year – be they, visitors or exhibitors. It was always going to be a bit of a challenge getting back in the saddle – I’m sure our customers understand that – but if everyone leaves the NEC feeling that their time was well spent and that they enjoyed the “family get-together” again, that would be great.

Experiencing some of its most turbulent times, if you could wave a magic wand and fix three issues facing the industry, what would they be?

The best companies in our sector waved their wand some time ago. They are already reaping the benefits of having an engaged workforce. They are recruiting apprentices, graduates, veterans and the like – offering worthwhile and fulfilling careers.
They are also investing in technology and superior kit. In turn, they retain loyal and valued customers. Relationships that aren’t win/win aren’t relationships at all.
But what would I fix? Poor truck stops, rail freight ‘bottlenecks’, and every bit of the M1 near Luton.

What lessons do you think the sector has learnt having kept Britain moving throughout the pandemic?

I’m not sure the industry needed educating as much as our politicians and population. This is a key industry with a highly skilled and dedicated workforce. Its role during the pandemic was as important as the healthcare sector. Of course, it always was – but now people are much more aware of it.

Five years from now, will the future be bright for UK logistics?

Yes. People will always hope to eat, buy stuff, travel, shop and do DIY. Our business makes that happen.

Robert Jervis, Multimodal 2021

Multimodal Special – Driving Digital Transformation

Multimodal Special – Driving Digital Transformation

19.10.2021 | Industry matters

Multimodal special

Committed to developing technologies that enable the logistics industry to thrive, Fargo System’s director Hemant Patel chats with Porttalk. 

How did you get into the industry, and what keeps you in it?

I got into the industry by chance. I graduated in computer science and worked for a university in London for a few years when I decided to spread my wings into the commercial environment.

I started working for a large air and sea shipping and forwarding company. Once I learned about the industry, I was fascinated by it and eventually, it was in my blood. The challenges faced by the industry over the numerous decades and even today have me enthralled.

With the return of Multimodal this year, what are your hopes for the exhibition?

With the return of the Multimodal exhibition amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope that it will enable technology companies like Fargo Systems to bring new innovative ways to propel the industry forward in these unprecedented times and once again allow the community to thrive.

Experiencing some of its most turbulent times, if you could wave a magic wand and fix three issues facing the industry, what would they be?

  • Driver shortage and working conditions
  • Environment-friendly transport
  • Improved infrastructure

What lessons do you think the sector has learnt having kept Britain moving throughout the pandemic?

It has learned how critical this sector is to the lifeline and economic welfare of Britain. Also, it is a sector that needs to address the well-being of its staff and work-life balance and its dependence on the migrant workforce.

Five years from now, will the future be bright for UK logistics?

I believe it should be bright, as logistics is one of the necessities for any economy, but to ensure it thrives, it needs to address some of its most critical shortcomings.

Hemant Patel, Fargo Systems Ltd

Visit award-winning Fargo Systems on stand 7010, Multimodal 2021.

The ‘Perfect Storm’ hitting the supply chain

The ‘Perfect Storm’ hitting the supply chain

22.9.2021 | Industry matters

The ‘Perfect Storm’ hitting the supply chain

Regulatory and transport solicitor, Tim Ridyard, shares his thoughts on the issues affecting every link in the chain. 

Sadly, there appears to be no imminent solution with significant long-term disruption highly likely

The HGV driver shortage, around 100,000, is a major issue, but also a major shortfall in non-driving sector staff is compounding the problem. The number of EU workers has plummeted, and exporters already face significant financial losses, new obstacles and legal paperwork created by the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement – this is before additional legal, and customs import requirements. Veterinary health certificates are due to come into force on 1 October 2021 but are deferred to 1 Jan 2022.

The causes of the driver shortage are well known: unattractive working conditions and pay, high training costs, an age profile where 50% of drivers are over 50 and less than 2% are under 25, the freezing of driver testing during COVID – plus COVID itself – changes in tax rules (IR35), the major loss of EU drivers post BREXIT (unlikely to return) plus new immigration visa requirements. The list is endless. As a result, pay rates and haulage costs are rising, and businesses cannot move time-critical fresh goods. At the same time, those businesses have severely depleted workforces, and crops may even go unpicked.

So what can be done to ease the driver shortage that is just one aspect of this headache? HM Govt will introduce ‘one-stop’ full HGV (CE) testing this autumn, allowing drivers to obtain their full HGV licence after one test and not in two stages, as now. From 15 November, the intended car/trailer testing will be relaxed to free up more test capacity for HGV drivers. A rapid increase in the driver pool is needed urgently. These are potentially only marginal gains in isolation.

A long-term fundamental solution has to be found. In the short term, gaps need to be filled – this may be by meeting training costs, making the profession more attractive and adding HGV drivers onto the job shortage visa list. Challenging – but this has long been well known.

Tim Ridyard is a Regulatory and Road Transport Solicitor and assists many businesses in the transport and logistics sector.

What is postponed VAT, and should I use it?

What is postponed VAT, and should I use it?

5.5.2021 | Industry matters

What is postponed VAT, and should I use it?

Often asked about using postponed VAT accounting (PVA) for customs declarations, Steve Townley, head of customs at Jordon, shares his views on the pros and cons of the system, as well as the latest updates from HMRC. 

I have heard about PVA, but I’m not sure if it’s for me. Why should I use it, and where can I find out more about it?
PVA allows UK VAT registered importers to account for and recover import VAT on their VAT return. PVA is available permanently. We expect that most businesses will choose to use it because it provides significant cash flow benefits compared to the alternative of paying the import VAT when the goods are imported.

Different rules apply in different situations. In some cases, you must account for import VAT on your VAT return – for example, if you delay your customs declaration.

New Trade Rules.

How do I tell HMRC that I want to use PVA?

There isn’t an application process for PVA, and you do not need to tell HMRC in advance if you want to start accounting for import VAT on your VAT return. You need to confirm in your customs declaration that you are using PVA.

If you use the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system

On your declaration, enter:
• your EORI number starting with ‘GB’ which includes your VAT registration number into box 8 (Header Consignee), or, if applicable, your VAT registration number in box 44h (Registered Consignee).
• ‘G’ (Postponed accounting for VAT approved) as the method of payment in Box 47e.

If you use the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)
On your declaration, enter:
• your VAT registration number at header level in data element 3/40.

Please note that VAT will be recorded against your EORI and will be at the declaration level only.

If someone else is making your customs declarations for you, such as a freight forwarder, customs agent, broker, or fast parcel operator, you must tell them you want to use PVA. Tell them that you want to use PVA to account for import VAT on the imported goods so they can complete the customs declaration correctly on your behalf. Keep a written record of what is agreed for your records.

Whoever completes the declaration must take care when selecting how to account for import VAT on the customs declaration, as this cannot be changed once the declaration has been submitted.

How do I complete my VAT return if I am using PVA?

After you have selected PVA on your customs declaration, you will need to account for import VAT when you complete your VAT return.

To complete your VAT return, you will need:
• details of any customs entries you have made in your own records.
• copies of your monthly postponed import VAT statement, when available.

Unless you have delayed your customs declaration, each of your statements will show the total import VAT postponed for the previous month.

If you are delaying your customs declarations:

• you must account for import VAT on the return, which includes the date you imported the goods.
• to complete the boxes on your return, you will need to estimate the import VAT due from your imported goods records.
• when you submit your delayed declaration, you must select that you’re accounting for your VAT on your return.

Your next online monthly statement will show the amount of import VAT due on that declaration. You’ll then be able to:

• adjust your estimate.
• account for any difference on your next return.

How do I get the statement I need to complete my VAT return?
If you account for your import VAT on your VAT return, you’ll need to get a postponed import VAT statement online.

Unless you have delayed your customs declaration, each statement will show the total import VAT postponed for the previous month.

Your statements will usually be available to view by the sixth working day of the month.

To view your statements, you’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password, which is linked to your EORI number. If you do not have a user ID and password, you can create your account on GOV.UK.

To find out more about using postponed VAT accounting (PVA), contact the Jordon team on 01394 286544 or email steve.townley@jordonfreight.com

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

19.4.2021 | Industry matters

"Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today"

Miles Vartan, director of compliance specialists VARTAN Consultancy offers his thoughts on life now we’re out of Europe.

Traders need to get used to how to trade with the EU now rather than the Government repeatedly pushing back deadlines.

To ease the introduction of customs formalities and allow traders to manage their businesses through the pandemic, the UK government decided to phase in customs requirements for GB imports from the EU between January and July 2021. In March 2021, it announced it was further delaying the introduction of full import checks, on average by six months. It was stated that this delay was brought about by businesses having to face dealing with coronavirus and Brexit simultaneously and because the UK government still has work to do to enable traders to be ready.

On the 1st of January 2022, all imports into the UK will need to have a frontier declaration submitted prior to the consignment leaving the EU. This is the day that the number of customs clearance entries will increase by at least 360% – you have a choice; find a Customs Agent or learn how to do this work yourself; otherwise, plan for delays at the Border whilst you wait for your consignments to be cleared.

Delays continue to be experienced on exports to the EU with traders and customers. Both who had previously become used to relatively easy next-day delivery are now often having to wait two weeks for a delivery to be made successfully and work out what duty and VAT will be paid.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” ~ Benjamin Franklin,  Founding Father of the United States of America.

Find out how VARTAN can help your business navigate the fall out from Brexit.