Road to Recovery: Focus on the Transport and Logistics Sector

Sep 8, 2020

Helping your clients to get back on the road

The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on all businesses, not least the transport sector.

During the months of lockdown, road freight and courier transportation was classified an essential activity by the UK Government. Essential delivery drivers have worked tirelessly alongside warehouse staff to supply the public with goods throughout the crisis. That is not to say that the sector has not faced its fair share of worry and uncertainty.

A heavy reliance on e-commerce since lockdown began resulted in an increased number of people being required in driving roles. As well as increased demand generally for the movement of certain goods, the requirement for other goods dried up. Disruption to supply chains and the restriction on movement of goods (and indeed people) have created enormous pressure on the sector and it is only now that the true cost of such an unprecedented shutdown is starting to show. Many businesses have reported a reduced turnover/wage roll directly resulting from the COVID-19 downturn.

It is not all bad news for the sector. Home supermarket deliveries have increased. The UK Government continues to announce additional easing of restrictions with further opening of businesses and return to work strategies being implemented where strict social distancing and health and safety measures can be adhered to. From small home delivery couriers to international industrial hauliers, firms will have to adapt to the new ‘normal’ if they are to prosper and thrive through this period.

Yutree Underwriting Truck

Haulage Operators

As insurance brokers, it is important to guide and advise our transport and logistics clients through this period of uncertainty helping them to ensure that risk management does not fall by the wayside as they work to build their business post COVID.

Here are some areas to think about when talking to your clients in this sector:

  • Risk Assessments – Firms will need to have updated their risk assessments to include the risks from coronavirus. Assessments should include the risk to employees and the public. They should place particular emphasis on higher risk employees. This should also include measures being put into place should an employee become ill which avoids having to isolate the whole workforce
  • PPE – Due consideration should be given to purchasing the PPE required for employees
  • Customers’ premises – Firms should liaise with their customers to ensure that drivers can have access to toilets and hand washing facilities. They should also understand their ability to maintain social distancing at customer sites and rest areas
  • Own premises – A plan for the site should be drawn up including being able to maintain social distancing
  • EU work – There should be familiarisation with different Covid-19 requirements in different countries (even variations within the UK considering local lockdowns etc). There may be additional complexities in crossing borders which should be investigated before travel commences. Sudden quarantine rules may come into force as seen recently with France. Road haulage firms are exempt from many of the restrictions but not all. Firms should check with the Freight Transport Association or the Road Haulage Association before traveling
  • Additional workload – If a firm has taken on significant amounts of additional work and requires the use of agency drivers, it is imperative that those drivers are trained, and standards of safety management are maintained. If they have sub-contracted some of their work out, they should retain a record of the sub-contractors’ insurance. If firms take on work handling different types of goods then they should ensure that additional training is given on the manual handling of such goods. Has time critical work been taken on where it was not carried out before? Again, this requires additional training. Written records of all training should be kept by the firm
  • Driver hours – Drivers’ hours regulations should be adhered to at all times. This may be impacted by less staff, staff off ill etc but a focus should remain on how to manage it
  • Vehicle maintenance – Firms must ensure that vehicle maintenance continues, and vehicles are checked before going back into use if shutdown. MOTs need to be undertaken following exemptions

As more businesses open and restrictions are lifted, hauliers have a good chance of recovering from the closure. Cash flow is key, and firms will be more stringent than ever about how and when payments are made. Businesses will no doubt be looking to cut costs where they can, including their insurance spend. As brokers, you will want to make sure that they are not exposing themselves by reducing their cover to save money and that their insurance continues to protect them and supports them to build their business post COVID.

Yutree’s underwriters, with specialist transport knowledge, have been helping brokers with innovative solutions where they have struggled to place cover under difficult circumstances. Turning down financials accurately to reduce premiums, making sure that all risk management is taken into account to get more competitive terms, asking the right questions and giving the best advice are all ways that Yutree have been helping brokers to help their transport and logistics clients.

Useful Government links

We have complied some useful Government links for the transport sector:

COVID-19 Advice for the Freight Transport industry

COVID-19 Guidance for staff in the Transport sector

Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID-19

Our underwriters are haulage specialists

If there is anything that we can help you with then we would be delighted to do so. Our underwriters are available to answer queries, quote for new risks and to advise you on how best you might help your clients at this time. We are working with insurers on unoccupancy wordings, on flexible underwriting to recognise dips or increases due to COVID and to be as accommodating as we can be.

If you would like any advice or a quote for either haulage, coach, courier, private hire or taxi risks then please get in touch on 01638 660651 or email us.


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