Institute of Couriers Heads of Industry fellows' round table for everything express courier during COVID

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Inst of Couriers Bounce Back Govt briefing for final mile.

May14th success- It was not in the room, it was on the Zoom!

Twelve expert keynotes delivered the knowledge you need for express courier final mile in a ninety minute focus zoom.

Final mile express courier operators and govt depts. Talking shop for a 90 min focus session on COVID and Post COVID final mile. Zoom in the room for a screen packed IOC fellows heads of industry round table.

IOC chair Carl Lomas opened, IOC CEO Tracey Worth delivered introductions led by two sector operators, Kate Lester Diamond Logistics and Rob Scott GLH. The session is highlighted below and recorded for a full feedback to fellows.




2020 news may covid hoi zoom andy neather

TfL ULEZ – Congestion Zone, van scrappage updates by Dr Andy Neather


Kate Lester Diamond Logistics, IOC services to industry winner,

‘Diamond are running a growth business remotely.’

Challenging times running 25+ fulfilment centres with so many working from home.

The new normal as we run a remotely skeleton team with social distancing.

Key Factors to Success: A new world of home delivery. Importance of fulfilment

Communications & Clarity to focus the technology.

Rebuilding supply chains, not so lean in the future. Just in time must change. Cost of stock chain will need to be measured.

Wins and Learns. Growth and moving to a new future, dealing with working welfare, extroverts and introverts have different need, working hours, Zoom and emails are all a new way of working to deal with during COVID.

Change to the future. Old business models are dead. Dynamic learning & teams from home. Retail on line and working to the new norm.

Getting back to work – New contracts, new signs across our premises and offices Diamond plans for July and Aug


Rob Scott GLH London.

‘Adaption has been our key word’

Credit to the industry for proving itself in a variety of manners throughout the lockdown period. Big positives for the courier sector as key workers.

Successful adaptation to lockdown rules means great future for the industry and potential to bounce back even more strongly as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The above, however, is determined by our masters, namely our customers. Every logistics company is dependent on them using to ensure our futures, whether that be companies using or personal individuals.

Whilst it has been reported in media that there may be an “addiction to furlough” our experience is that everybody who has been furloughed is ready to work at the drop of a hat and furloughing itself has created a bit of stress and anxiety for furloughees. I do not think there will be an addiction to furlough because humans have not been designed to sit at home and do nothing!

We have both personal and business clients, we should be hopeful customers return as the economy develops, I see a gradual uplift following furlough but I see a positive future post lock-down. Very different forms of work have come our way, adaptation has been our key word.

A triumph for clean air, but not so for the economy in general. We need to see the environment work in tandem with every factor. This has proved that there must be balance and compromise on both sides for a better future.

National Courier Awards, everyone is doing so well, teams and companies, well done the couriers.’


Karen Smart, Leicestershire LEP & D2N2 Director, Managing Director East Midlands Airport

‘Going for Free port Status.’

Two hats on - LEP postcodes at the heart of the logistics hot spot of England. A region with Magna Park. The second hat, MD East Midlands Airport. During COVID we are the busiest freight airport in UK. We have Segro site next to the airport and the new freight railhead. What makes the region unique is the location, M1, A50, heart of golden triangle. 80% of UK inside four hours by road of the golden triangle. We have the first co-located air, rail and road interchange.

Numbers by air through East Midlands Airport. A million packages a day, working every night - legal letters to medical organs, packages are predominantly express freight, both in and out of the UK.

Covid is the biggest challenge we have ever faced, we have some exciting initiatives in the region. Joining D2N2 and LLEP together we are looking to bid to govt for Free Port Status.


Man from the Ministry Phil Martin, Dept for Transport

‘Driver hours & driver welfare during COVID’

We have reports of drivers turned away in the early days of COVID, Baroness Vere wrote across UK for service access for facilities, toilets and hand washing. We have extended driver hours for HGV drivers until 31 May and are interested in the IoC initiative to protect van drivers from excessive hours. Baroness Vere congratulates the express courier sector for getting the deliveries done.


Chief Inspector Patrick Holdaway

‘We are keen to connect national policing and provide help.’

Overview of the National Business Crime Centre - small team, but a key role facilitating with business and answering to the City of London Commissioner.

Early COVID police challenge was over-enthusiastic. Police Operation TALLA Covid update. ‘Covid has brought a very different focus, intelligence from a different type of business, getting communication, prevention and planning. Case study of PPE theft - a plea; if you have large levels of PPE, we will let the local force know on a national level.


Alan Lewis, Constantine Law, sector expert detail on Furlough and employment during and post COVID

‘The R word for redundancy.’

Key features of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, seven and a half million furloughs. Govt likely to pay out over 100 billion pounds. You can get insurance now, if you are challenged post covid. TUPE, if you inherit staff their furlough can transfer. Furlough, 80%, most not topping - You must not work if furloughed, but a furloughed worker can work with another employer. We may see litigation over holidays employees are forced to take during furlough,’ I could not go anywhere so could not take holiday.’ After July you may need letters of clarity.’

Chancellor’s latest announcement about furlough extension and cutting subsidy percentage after end July. Bringing employees back part time. PM Sunday speech, the underlying message is 'let’s get back to work'. Limited guidance so far says subsidy will stay at 80% and from August and can take back employees from furlough onto part-time work with their salary setting off against the 80%. Working with a second employer while furloughed is a question we need to think about. The employer must risk assess and have a safe area of work . Why 15th June is key - reduction of furlough subsidy from 1 August likely so collective consultation of 45 days for redundancy targets back to the 15th June. The dreaded “R” word

You must avoid the date trap and re start on a redundancy consultation route if you need to make redundancies.



Transport for London, Dr Andy Neather

The extraordinary time that we’re living through just got stranger – as we take the first steps back towards normality from the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic to a return to work.

In response to the Government’s plan for the gradual easing of lockdown, TfL is announcing a series of measures to get London moving again. We can only do that with the help of vital sectors such as the courier and parcel delivery industry.

Right now: govt plans and London’s road space, transport network constraints in the return to work. London Street Space announced by the Mayor. Work from home if you can.

Plans to increase the space available for people walking and cycling and avoid a car-led recovery. But leaving enough road space for freight.

Road network should still be able to accommodate essential traffic and freight.



We recognise that the freight industry has faced huge challenges – hence Congestion Charge, Ultra Low Emission Zone, and Low Emission Zone suspension.

New, tighter rules for the LEZ, and DVS - coming in this October as planned but enforcement suspended until at least the end of February next year.

Travel demand exercise now taking place. Open to looking at issues like re-timing of deliveries.



We are looking to return the clean air schemes sooner than later with focus on car numbers.

Air quality and greener transport key for city’s longer-term recovery.

The expansion of the ULEZ out to the north and south circular roads in October 2021 is still on track. Eighteen times larger.

So the £23 million van scrappage scheme also continues. Reminder of terms.

Heavy vehicles scrappage scheme: details this autumn. Aimed at owner-drivers, micro business and business with less than fifty vehicles. Today there are three options, frequent use, purchase and/or lease, then scrappage to an EV. Heavy vehicle scrappage to be announced early autumn, likely around fifteen thousand pounds up to a maximum of three vehicles and including retro-fit.

A challenging time with a strong commitment to keep London a greener city, we are keen to have the freight sector moving while we target car use.



Callum Macpherson Investec reviews price of oil impact

Extent of supply disruption and price moves we have seen are unprecedented. In the US, it was briefly possible to buy a barrel of oil and get forty dollars back – this has never happened before.

Breakdown the evolution of the oil market since covid19 in terms of four phases:

1. Fall of in demand, leading to massive oversupply and price falls. Refinery cut backs on reduced diesel demand but produces too much of other fuels like jet fuel and car petrol.

2. (current phase) Rebalancing to lower demand. OPEC cuts along with other reduction in global supply has led to big reduction. Also, demand is coming back, especially on road transport which was forty per cent of global demand before the virus, where air was less than ten per cent

3. (probably starts in the summer) Demand continues to increase, but supply becomes constrained, that’s fine for a while as we have a great deal of storage

4. Eventually inventory falls enough to cause price pressures

Looking to the future, there is much debate on flying, road transport and behavioural shifts in demand for oil. One school of thought is that after lockdowns, we may see more car travel and demand for petrol rather than public transport. A second school of thought is that working from home remains a common choice and has a negative influence on fuel demand.

Finally, where we may see prices moving in the remainder of the year? Brent is currently at thirty dollars/barrel and diesel very low. These rates may not be sustainable for producers for very long. Consumers are looking beyond the crisis and have been active in locking the currently low rates for 1 or 2 years hence.



DVSA Ian Gainford Policy (vocational) and Technical Standards

MOT Exemption

· Your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020 - but you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.

· Your lorry, bus or trailer will be exempt from needing an MOT for 3 months from 21 March 2020. You might need to apply for this, depending on your vehicle.

· In most cases, your lorry, bus or trailer will have been automatically issued a 3-month exemption, and you do not need to do anything.

· Email DVSA if your lorry, bus or trailer has not been issued an MOT exemption and your MOT expired in March.

· You need to include your:

Name, phone number, address, vehicle registration number, vehicle identification number or trailer ID, test expiry date

· Email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Make sure your email has the subject heading ‘Test exemption error’.


Operator questions focused on concerns post COVID for any backlog on vehicles waiting for MOT.


Driving tests C1 Large Van. ‘Pass rates have been good.’


· There has been a steady increase over the last three years in numbers of C1 tests conducted.

· From April 2019 to 31 December 2019, we conducted 5001 tests, which was only 78 fewer tests than in the whole reporting year of 2017/18.

· C1 driving test pass rate is 71.7% which shows a steady increase on 2017/18 of 70.8% and 2018/2019 of 71.2%

· NHS and emergency services remain the priority for the limited number of vocational driving tests that are being delivered by volunteer examiners during COVID.

· We are reviewing plans for more driver testing after lockdown, suspending the services was straightforward, but resuming the tests is more complicated. For example, which tests do we resume first?, do we resume them all at the same time?, or do some have priority over others? But, very importantly, we must do it whilst keeping our staff and the customer safe.

· Our teams are well motivated and we will keep the industry updated



Nina Day, HSE

‘A really challenging time, HSE are fielding a lot of concerns.’

I am here to talk positives, one silver lining of this is how the UK has recognised the sector and its importance and we have a solid base to work from.

Driver safety for doorstep delivery is the big concern. A general thread is keeping distance, communicating the social distance as part of the delivery. It is important to keep this agenda and not let it slip during ease of lockdown.

Social distancing in distribution centres has generated a lot of questions this week, we have published documents this week, think about one-way systems for people, think driver rest rooms, keep drivers away from load and unload. We are suggesting you keep drivers in the cab if it’s not essential they take park in load or unload. Bearing in mind toilet and refreshment. If you have problems at sites, tell us at HSE.

LOLA inspection, Tail lift inspection and use outside the examination schedule, we will not inforce because of COVID.

Adapting work practices to manage risk effectively, Logistics has adapted very well, it’s a difficult one but, with good management examples, everything should go well.

Any questions ask us at HSE, we are here to help.


A well-attended ninety minute keynote focus with agenda lead items on vehicle compliance, DfT, DVSA, HSE, TfL, changes during COVID-19, with a host of best-practice operator input.


During the ninety minute session, DfT reviewed driver welfare during COVID. DVSA talked driver licencing post COVID backlog. Alan Lewis talked sector employment law furlough and post COVID19, Chief Inspector Patrick Holdaway updated from his weekly fellows’ briefings and Callum MacPherson from Investec helped us understand the impact of oil and fuel values post COVID, Highways England added their thoughts on post-COVID traffic flow. It was a bumper, packed ninety minutes, free of charge to fellows. It’s the express courier sector briefing you needed to hear.


Set your diary Next Heads of Industry IOC meeting Tuesday 22nd Sept


Last modified on Monday, 18 May 2020 13:33