Date: 11.02.2021

Preparing for the vaccine effect

The UK’s rapid Covid-19 vaccination roll-out will undoubtedly help the economy bounce back and we are anticipating an upsurge in demand for air, sea and overland transport as confidence returns from the second quarter as lockdowns loosen and consumers are able to consume in the old fashioned way !

The economy is expected to shrink 4.2% in the first three months of 2021, amid government enforced restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, but the Bank of England is expecting a rebound this spring as consumer confidence returns.

While the jobless rate is projected to rise later this year as the furlough scheme winds down, the UK economy is expected to recover, as a successful vaccination programme supports a “material recovery in household spending”.

With UK savings hitting an additional annual rate of £125bn in 2020 and more to be added in 2021, the potential spike for the economy is considerable, as soon as lockdown is lifted and with low interest rates already encouraging spending, the Bank have not ruled out lowering them further, potentially into a negative situation, if further stimulus is necessary.

On the industrial front, the government has indicated that a new Treasury-led growth programme will be announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in the coming weeks.

The new “plan for growth” strategy will take in work by officials at the business department, who have been rewriting the 2017 industrial strategy since last autumn.

Putting technology and innovation at the heart of the UK’s economic future, £45bn of financing has been assigned to a number of industrial strategy initiatives, including freeports throughout the UK.

We are anticipating supply chain demand increasing in three key areas:

– Priority movement of locked down orders and delayed shipments further accentuated by high consumer demand

– Restocking demand (80% inbound) primarily on the major Asian trade lanes

– Supply chain restoration by manufacturers and OEM

To prepare for these demand upswings we are:

– Adding personnel to key accounts in our operational departments

– Reviewing historic data to forecast volumes

– Working directly with customers to coordinate preparation activity

– Modelling supply chain scenarios, so we’re ready for any eventuality

– Further resourcing our overseas business units/ BPO operations to deal with administration and data integrity management.

For now, our number one priority is keeping our team healthy and productive by maintaining a safe office environment, for critical workers and supporting alternative ways of working.

Metro recommend that you fully review the potential impact on your supply chain of a sharp recovery, to ensure your own demand requirements are met. We are here to support and provide solutions, with a tailored platform that will ensure you benefit fully, from hopefully a more positive environment, in which we function in all aspects of our daily lives !