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  1. Interview
January 26, 2022

2022 Outlook – Q&A with Priority Freight

In the latest of our series of sector outlook interviews, we take the temperature from the industry on highlights of the year just gone and prospects for the year ahead. Here, we hear from Andrew Austin, Group Operations Director at Priority Freight.

By David Leggett

Andrew Austin

2021 was another memorable year for everyone and for all sorts of reasons. We had a bumpy recovery from the worst of the Covid pandemic, but the automotive industry was also hammered by a shortage of semiconductor parts. In your business, what stands out as the biggest challenges you faced over the past year?

The biggest challenge for the logistics sector was probably the culmination of multiple challenges at once – COVID pandemic, the semiconductor shortage, port congestion, driver shortages and Brexit-related border issues. At a time when shortages of parts forced companies to invest in air freight, there just wasn’t availability in the air as very few flights were operating globally.

Any high spots or particular successes you’d like to share?

Achieving Clearance on Wheels status was a huge boon for us and our clients. We are now able to offer rapid customs clearances from our own premises, negating the need to attend the public inland border facility and avoiding any unforeseen disruption. We have undergone a rigorous process to gain this status and the benefit for delivery times is invaluable to our clients.

How are you feeling about 2022 – both in terms of business prospects and more generally?

We are looking forward to seeing a return of air capacity internationally as travel restrictions are lifted. We are optimistic that demands on the sector will return to more manageable levels but, as always, we are prepared for whatever 2022 might look like.

Is anything emerging as a particular concern in terms of the outlook?

There is still a long way to go in the semiconductor crisis. There are already delays in the manufacture of new vehicles and various home appliances. The erratic production of and demand for chips will continue to cause havoc in the logistics sector for a while yet.

Do you have a message for Just Auto’s readers?

Let us learn from the challenges of 2021 to build a better future for our respective industries. The logistics sector, just like the automotive sector, is resilient and we can adapt to and overcome anything 2022 throws at us.

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