A year in freight

A year in freight

December 19, 2022

In preparation for the new year, Morrison Freight joint-directors, Lee Steward and Darren Ryan, take a look back on 2022 and discuss what has happened in the industry over the last 12 months.  

Christmas is a busy time in any freight forwarder’s calendar. 

As many businesses prepare to shut down and finish for the year, the demand on the supply chain ramps up. 

And with labour shortages, strikes and the cost-of-living crisis all having an impact on operations, this year will be no exception. 

A time for reflection 

Since we took over the business in 2015, there have been a number of significant challenges to overcome, with Brexit and a coronavirus pandemic having had a huge impact on the industry as we knew it. 

This year we have yet again been faced with more obstacles. 

The nationwide HGV driver shortage has had a profound effect on the industry. With no new drivers joining the profession and a loss of existing drivers, there is a shortfall of 100,000 drivers. This was blamed on the lack of driver training during the pandemic and loss of European drivers due to Brexit. 

This has put huge pressure on the supply chain and resulted in fuel shortages, a lack of stock in supermarkets and delayed deliveries. 

The war in Ukraine has also caused significant disruption. 

As Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, fuel prices started to rise and people began to panic buy. Therefore causing a national fuel crisis. This led to chaos at petrol stations and wreaked havoc for HGV drivers who couldn’t fulfil their deliveries. 

This also made the HGV drivers’ job harder and less appealing to new recruits, thus not helping the driver shortage. 

However, despite all the challenges facing the industry this year, Morrison Freight have certainly prevailed. We are exceptionally pleased to report we have increased our team by 20%.  

Additionally, we have continued to invest greatly in staff. A number of our senior members are halfway through leadership training delivered by Lighthouse Group. Also, we have two more of the team completing their NVQs and will be welcoming a new apprentice in 2023.  

So, despite the challenges in and outside of the industry, we are extremely proud of what we have achieved.   

The logistics of Christmas  

The cost-of-living crisis is sure to affect people’s buying habits this year. 

In fact, a survey by YouGov has revealed 60% of people are intending on spending less this Christmas. Also, it reports only 28% of people are expecting to spend what they normally do. 

The recent increase in energy bills will also mean many UK households will have to prioritise heating their home over buying lavish Christmas gifts this year. 

On the other hand, the timing of the men’s World Cup may have a positive impact on buying activity. 

Back in July, the Women’s Euro 2022 tournament was predicted to bring £54 million of extra economic activity to the UK. So, it will be interesting to see what impact the winter World Cup has in the long run. 

Looking forward 

Here at Morrison Freight, we are continuously adapting and improving our business to ensure we continue to provide the best service possible to our clients. 

Also, we continue to invest in staff training to ensure our team have the knowledge and expertise to help them through what is a difficult time in the industry. 

There will no doubt be more challenges ahead in 2023. After all, issues like driver shortages, the cost-of-living crisis and energy crises won’t be ending anytime soon. 

But one thing we do know is that we will continue to weather the storm for our customers – no matter what the new year has in store for us. 

For more information about our services, visit Morrison.com/services.