We caught up with Alan Miles, our Managing Director, to ask him about business trends and challenges:
Is business back to normal?
Our revenue is still significantly less than March and before. The business mix is very different –
however the week just ended was our busiest since March.
What changes you are seeing?
Continuity of flow is challenging; no new patterns have emerged. Stock levels seem to have declined and more and more, work is just on time.
Ships from Heysham and Birkenhead to Belfast are very busy, however some passenger routes quieter. There is significant tender activity, currently more supply than demand as a general observation.
Routes to market are under review, seems to be a move to servicing ROI volume through Northern Ireland.
What is your forecast for rest of 2020?
I expect a quiet August, a busier September.
Then from October to December very busy as people build up stock prior to Brexit
My concern is customers leaving it this late, risk increases with bad weather and any second Covid spike. For January 2021 into February we are forecasting very quiet volumes.
What plans have you in place to deal with any Covid second wave?
We have tried to engage with customers re contingencies. working from home is fully tested with enough laptops.
We have also trained up 3 managers for each subject and location.
What will be the big challenges?
I believe September and October may show a spike of business collapses.
Imbalance especially to Ireland will become an issue October on if as I think volumes to Ireland will increase significantly. For a short period of time driver supply will tighten, there will be significant port congestion. Shipping space to Northern Ireland will be at a premium, I suspect price of diesel will increase. We need to be conscious of no knee jerk reactions to short term problems
Brexit – any updates?
Our preparations remain on track, we will shortly launch a separate section on our website in respect of Brexit updates data entry help in understanding.