Haulier boss says Suffolk firms will play vital role in supply chain turnaround

A Suffolk business owner says his logistics firm will be poised for action when the time comes to get the UK supply chain moving fully again.

Olly Magnus, who heads Great Blakenham-based Magnus Group, believes transport and logistics companies throughout the county have a major part to play in helping shops and services get back to their feet after COVID-19.

Mr Magnus has seen fierce challenges for his own logistics business since the start of the official lockdown, with a significant drop-off in transportation requests, particularly from retail clients.

Magnus Group has, however, witnessed substantial increases in requests for storage space, from companies unable to move their goods from regional ports to ‘end destinations’ throughout the UK.

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A large percentage of the firm’s 200,000 sq ft of warehousing space is now in use, with a waiting list operating for other retailers looking to safely store their haul.

Olly Magnus, of the Magnus Group

“While we’ve seen a huge drop-off in transport requirements, and as a result have sadly had to furlough 35 drivers and seven other staff, we have at the same time seen a rapid increase in enquiries from major high street retailers keen to use our warehousing space,” said Olly.

“That space has become a premium in the supply chain because containers are still arriving in ports, but retailers are in need of storage as their distribution centres may have closed or reduced capacity.

“These are such unexpected times, so we’ve moved really fast to ensure we can meet whatever demand there is for a logistics business like ours in this challenging phase – and ultimately, we’re ensuring that we’re poised to help get the country’s supply chain going again.”

He added: “In Suffolk, businesses like ours have a critical role to play in getting things moving at the right time.

“My sense is that we’re going to see a sudden surge of activity as everyone grapples to re-order from overseas, to move stock from A to B, and to shift large amounts of their previously ordered goods to hub distribution centres throughout the UK, in time for customers being back in shops.”

Magnus Group has a number of national retail clients, and also serves for a major UK supermarket chain.

The business was founded by Olly’s father in the 1970s. When fully operational, Magnus has a fleet of over 50 articulated vehicles and employs 126 staff.

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