ogistics UK is urging both sides in the Brexit negotiations to focus on achieving a consensus in order to protect economies on both sides of

the Channel from the impact of a potential No Deal outcome. Elizabeth de Jong, the business group’s policy director, is encouraging negotiators to take a pragmatic view in order to protect the interests of those charged with keeping supply chains open: “Neither side would benefit from a No Deal outcome”, she says. “Both

sides should be seeking to avoid tariffs which would make everyday household items we import more expensive, some by up to 30 per cent. Without a deal, the cross-Channel logistics sector cannot function. With no agreement currently in place for HGV access to and from the EU, many

logistics companies cannot be certain if they can operate next year and cannot plan their work. This puts the country’s entire supply chain at risk. “Many deadlines have slipped and been reassessed over the past few

months, but time really is now running out if the treaty is to be ratified in time for the New Year. Business needs and deserves certainty over the terms in which the economy will operate from 1st January 2021 – this further delay to the talks between the two sides leaves international hauliers and traders in limbo, with little or no time to implement new business processes. Logistics is agile and flexible but is running out of time to make the necessary transition to new trading arrangements.” STRONG DEMAND FOR ANTI-COUNTERFEITING DEVICES TO DRIVE HOLOGRAPHY GROWTH DESPITE COVID N

ew demand for security and authentication devices to tackle the threat of counterfeiting caused by the Covid crisis will strengthen

the holography market in 2021, according to a global trade body. The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) says

authentication and track and trace systems, which use holographic technologies, will help to underpin international efforts by government and law enforcement agencies to bolster overt and covert protection strategies in the next 12 months. While Asia will continue to offer opportunities for holograms in 2021, the

IHMA says countries across North America and Europe will also be ramping up investment in technologies to tackle counterfeiting as Covid rages, offering additional opportunities for hologram sales across these regions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that a growing volume of

fake medicines are on sale in developing countries, while Interpol has seen an increase in fake medical products. Seizures of fake Covid tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) have been reported by both the US CBP and the World Customs Organisation. This situation is set to continue in the next 12 months, predicts the

IHMA, while growth in packaging authentication devices will stay ‘strong and lucrative’ on the back of forecasts that the market for anti-counterfeit

pharmaceuticals and cosmetics packaging will reach more than US $10 bn by the end of 2026, growing by almost nine per cent in the next five years despite the current situation. The overall global market for anti-counterfeit packaging is projected to

be worth in excess of US$ 188 bn by 2025. A poll has revealed that almost 50 per cent of hologram manufacturers

and suppliers are seeing an increase in demand from customers, specifiers and end-users for holographic devices and technologies. This indicates that hologram users will continue to be concerned about the impact of counterfeiting on e-commerce supply chains as the pandemic continues to be felt well into new year. The IHMA advises brand owners and product manufacturers to tackle the

threats, stepping up plans for investment in authentication and verification technologies to protect brands, profits and reputations. The use of authentication solutions, as advocated by the ISO12931

standard, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from fake products coming from counterfeiting hot spots in Asia and eastern Europe. Even those that carry a ‘fake’ authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.


ME manufacturing output fell at a considerably slower pace in the three

months to October, following July’s record decline, according to the latest quarterly CBI SME Trends Survey. The survey of 285 SME manufacturers

reported that total new orders stabilised, following a survey-record pace of decline last quarter. Domestic orders were broadly unchanged, and export orders fell at a more moderate pace. But while the decline in employment also

slowed from the last quarter, the cut in headcount among SME manufacturers remained significant. Business sentiment was roughly unchanged

in the quarter to October, following a slight recovery in July. Export sentiment fell at a similar pace to the previous quarter. Looking ahead to the next quarter, SME

manufacturers expect output to grow at a solid pace. Total new orders are anticipated to pick up slightly, reflecting a slight rise in domestic orders and export orders falling at a more modest pace. Encouragingly, employment is also expected to rise modestly. While investment intentions for the year

ahead remain weak, they have nonetheless improved on the past two quarters. The share of firms citing uncertainty about demand, cash-flow related concerns, and labour shortages as factors to limit capital expenditure also declined considerably from last quarter’s

record highs. Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said: “The

thaw in activity seems to be melting for SME manufacturers, and it’s encouraging that output and employment is set to grow in the quarter ahead. But a second national lockdown will inevitably mean that prospects are now looking bleaker. “However, the step up in government

support is welcome. In particular, extending the Job Retention Scheme further will give companies the certainty and stability they need to help safeguard jobs. If signs of additional strain are growing among SME manufacturers and their supply chains, the government may need to think about more tailored support in the coming weeks.” Key findings: Output volumes in the three months to

October (-15 per cent) fell at a slower pace than in July (-53 per cent, record quick decline). Firms expect output to grow at a solid pace in the next three months (+14 per cent). Total new orders in the three months to

October were flat (-1 per cent) following a survey record decline last quarter (-56 per cent). Domestic orders were broadly unchanged (+3 per cent from a record sharp decline of -64 per cent in July) and export orders fell at a slower pace than in July (-19 per cent from a record fall of -55 per cent). Looking ahead, manufacturers expect total new orders to grow marginally in the next three


months (+4 per cent). Domestic orders are anticipated to pick up slightly (+5 per cent), while export orders are expected to fall at a slower pace (-8 per cent). Numbers employed in the quarter to October

fell strongly (-30 per cent), but at a slower pace than in July (-43 per cent). Firms expect headcounts to pick up somewhat next quarter (+9 per cent). Business sentiment in the quarter to October

(+1 per cent) was flat following modest growth in July (+9 per cent). Export sentiment fell at a similar pace to last quarter (-24 per cent, from -26 per cent). Manufacturers expect investment in

buildings (-29 per cent) and plant & machinery (-11 per cent) to decline in the next year, but to a much lesser extent than last quarter. Capital expenditure in product & process innovation is expected to pick up slightly (+6 per cent), while spending on training & retraining (-3 per cent) is anticipated to be broadly unchanged. The share of firms citing uncertainty about

demand (55 per cent from 75 per cent in July), inadequate net returns (26 per cent from 47 per cent), internal finance shortages (14 per cent from 38 per cent in July), inability to raise external finance (9 per cent from 29 per cent in July), and labour shortages (16 per cent from 33 per cent in July) as factors to limit capital expenditure over the next year declined noticeably from last quarter’s survey record highs.


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