The FTA has urged the Treasury to create a Supply Chain Continuation Fund to help the parts of the logistics sector hit hardest by the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Elizabeth de Jong, director of policy at the FTA said: “In our view it is paramount that a Supply Chain Continuation Fund is created, to give particular help and support to specific areas and sectors hardest hit by the economic slow-down, including key infrastructure points – so the goods keep moving.”
She said that job security was vital to logistics workers hit by furloughing or uncertain trading conditions, and the association’s members were keen to see government deliver and extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to provide certainty of employment.
“While the extension of the Corona Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) announced today will provide welcome relief for those unable to secure regular commercial financing, we will be requesting a sympathetic repayment plan, dependent on profits having returned first.
“Businesses need to be able to restructure or defer loan repayments to banks, to keep their finances as robust as possible as they take on the challenges posed by the pandemic as well as rebuilding once the situation returns to normal.
She stressed that “excessive charges could see business placed under even more stress which could have a knock on effect on an economy weakened by the pressures caused by COVID-19”.
De Jong also said that the rail freight sector would need a Track Access Charge holiday for rail freight, “to enable large loads to be moved swiftly and efficiently across the rail network while passenger transport is significantly reduced”.