Distribution sector growth

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Transport and haulage SMEs achieved growth of about 4 per cent in the second quarter of the year, according to Bibby Financial Services’ Business Factors Index.

Edward Winterton, Bibby commercial director, said: “Our research shows that this growth in the SME transport sector is due to an increase in new customers and subsequently new orders. It’s good to see this rise in demand somewhat combatting increasing fuel prices.

“The sector is still a long way off its Index high of 116 in the final quarter of 2010, but progress is certainly being made.”

Bibby surveyed more than 150 small and medium sized transport firms in June and found that exactly half have seen an increase in new customers, with 45 per cent seeing an increase in orders.

A third of businesses say that lapsed customers have returned over recent months.

Looking to the future, 33 per cent of SMEs say they are investing in technology over the next 12 months, with 19 per cent looking to social media to increase sales.

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