UK transport recovery at 84%, according to Geotab and Webfleet

The UK’s transport sector activity has recovered to 84% of its pre-coronavirus baseline, three months since lockdown was first imposed on March 23, according to latest figures from Geotab and Webfleet Solutions.

The Commercial Mobility Recovery Dashboard, built by Geotab and Webfleet Solutions, outlines activity on a country by country basis, as well by three sub-sectors; business services, construction and freight.

Geotab and Webfleet Solutions joined forces to help visualise the impact of Covid-19 on commercial vehicle activity and support strategic recovery efforts.

The dashboard found that despite a positive trend over last quarter, the UK transport sector lags behind its EU peers, with France at 97%, Germany at 99%, Italy at 98%, Netherlands at 92%, Poland at 92% and Spain at 84%.

In the first and second week of each country’s imposition of strict measures, analysis found:

  • UK activity fell to an average (avg) of 63% (Mar 23-29), and avg. 52% (Mar 30 – Apr 05)
  • France activity fell to avg. 42% (Mar 17-22), and avg. 35% (Mar 23-29)
  • Netherlands activity fell to avg. 86% (Mar 23-29), and avg. 86% (Mar 30 - Apr. 05)
  • Spain activity fell to avg. 56% (Mar 16-22), and avg. 53% (Mar 23-29)
  • Italy activity fell to avg. 76% (Mar 9-15), and avg. 61% (Mar 16-22)

Since its second week of lockdown, commencing Mar 30, UK transport activity has recovered an average of only 2.6 percentage points per week. This compares to France 4.8 percentage points, Spain 2.4 percentage points, and Italy 2.7 percentage points.

The week following ‘Super Saturday’ commencing July 6 - when the UK hospitality industry re-opened to the public - saw a total recovery rate of 5 percentage points, with UK recovery climbing from 79% the week prior to 84% on July 10.

Consisting of non-essential services such as cleaning, office supply deliveries and facilities management, business services activity in the UK has been the slowest to recover, at 71% as of July 10 according to the dashboard. This compares to an avg. of 45% in the UK’s second week of lockdown, with an average recovery rate of 2.2 percentage points per week.

Meanwhile, UK freight activity consisting of essential services, necessary goods, such as food, medicine and post - has remained relatively high throughout the lockdown, now at 94% as of July 10. This compares to avg. 71% in the second week of lockdown, with an average weekly recovery rate of 1.9%.

Fleets within the construction industry have seen the largest recovery over the last 13 weeks, with the second week of lockdown activity dropping 66% on average. Now at 88% of its baseline, its weekly recovery rate has averaged at 3.8 percentage points.

David Savage, regional manager UK and Ireland at Geotab, said: “As the lifeblood to our economies, commercial fleet activity can act as a strong economic barometer, used to help inform policy, management and forecasting at both macro and local levels.

“As vehicles become more connected and telematics technology more widely adopted, we will see it  not only help shape these decisions but also drive huge cost efficiencies and breakthrough innovations in how our society functions.”

Beverley Wise, sales director UK and Ireland at Webfleet Solutions, said: “Now more than ever, it is crucial that we make the most out of the anonymised and aggregated data available to us in analysing the impacts on our businesses and our economy.

"This joint initiative enables us to provide deep data-driven insights that will also help support our customers to get their businesses back on the road as they plan their route to recovery.”

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