Logistics operators on the breadline

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Over one in four SMEs in transport and distribution are living on the breadline, with only a minimum amount of cash to cover emergencies, according to a study commissioned by GE Capital.

The study suggests a that a significant number of the sector’s SMEs would struggle to survive if they faced any immediate or unforeseen situations.

And only 30 per cent believe that they have a significant cash buffer and lending facilities to have a healthy cash position.

John Jenkins, chief executive of GE Capital said: “With so many businesses under pressure due to increased competition, a decline in customer spend and increasing costs of raw materials, it is worrying that so many are not in a position to deal with an emergency should it arise.”

GE Capital commissioned an independent market research company, the Survey Shop, to interview 500 owner managers of SMEs (businesses with between 10 and 249 employees). based in the UK. The research was conducted anonymously by phone during March 2010.

SMEs in transport have, however, also revealed that they believe there are opportunities for providing financial assistance available to their business, with nearly half  suggesting that the market for this is either extremely or relatively competitive.

Some 41 per cent of SME owners in the sector believe that greater transparency on charges would help ensure even greater competition and choice for them when looking for funding, either at times of crisis or growth, while over 43 per cent said that they would like to see better information and advice from alternative sources other than the banks.


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