Transport trauma costs small firms millions

Transport woes are costing small businesses an extraordinary £755 million in profits and lost productivity, according to recent research.

Traffic congestion causing a negative effect on business tops the list of transport complaints, cited by more than a third of respondents to the survey by Bibby Financial Services.

Also causing grief for a fifth of all SMEs are: staff lateness, causing lost production time; delayed delivery times, leading to customer dissatisfaction; and missing important business meetings.

Almost four in ten (38%) of those polled estimate they lose up to £10,000 a year due to problems with roads and railways. A further 34% believe transport trouble costs them up to £5,000 each year.

“Transport is an essential tool of the trade for small firms. They are heavily dependent on their cars, vans and the railways to get their goods and services to customers easily, quickly and cheaply,” said Federation of Small Businesses Transport Chairman, Steve Collie adding, “But transport problems, such as traffic jams, railway cancellations, and never-ending roadworks, severely handicap small businesses.”

David Robertson, chief executive of Bibby Financial Services, commented that, along with dealing with red tape, recruiting and managing staff and staying competitive, transport problems are “just one more complication that small businesses could well do without”.

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