Transport & logistics

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Today’s business owners in the transport and logistics sector face many challenges, which need to be managed successfully to build a strong and profitable business.

Low operating margins, tough competition, driver shortages and rising costs are making it harder for all businesses to make a profit.

We advise transport and logistics companies from freight forwarders and hauliers, to domestic and international couriers including customs clearance specialists. By working closely with our clients we find solutions to industry issues, utilising our experience in everything from employer solutions (benefits, overtime allowances etc), VAT (including customs clearance processes) business strategy, corporate finance to audit and tax advice.

VAT Advisory update:

VAT registered businesses encouraged to move to CDS by HMRC

As part of HMRC’s series of letters to businesses on importing and exporting with the EU, they have just issued the latest letter, advising businesses to move to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) as soon as possible.  A link to the letter can be found here:

This is due to the upcoming closure of CHIEF on 30 September 2022 for imports and 31 March 2023 for exports.  Since the transition to CDS from CHIEF will inevitably take time, businesses must act now, to ensure they are ready.

Should any businesses require assistance with this, please get in touch with one of the VAT team.

Sophie Said - Menzies Accountant

A guide to maximising the value of your business on exit.

Sophie Said – Transport & Logistics Specialist

Leading a company to a successful exit requires business owners to build a solid foundation. In our experience, those businesses that perform best are those that have a clear vision and a supporting strategy which enables them to implement a well-planned route, with clear directions to keep them on track and avoid any delays.

All too often we see SMEs selling for less than what they are worth. All it takes is a little forward thinking to maximise potential opportunities.

More Transport & Logistics Brighter Thinking

How we’re helping the Transport and Logistics sector:

Xero transition for a freight forwarder

This freight forwarder was using an old system that required all data to be exported and the reporting pack to be prepared manually. Our initial recommendation was to move to Boxtop, operational software designed specifically for freight forwarders. We then looked to understand the best accounting software solution for the company, which was Xero. We implemented Xero in collaboration with Boxtop. The full implementation included a training day for the in-house accountants and ongoing support, ensuring the whole process was smooth and we remained available for any queries and guidance.

Using Boxtop and Xero in conjunction has resulted in a streamlined approach for the client, alongside significant time savings. We can now run all reporting remotely as well as continuing to provide support.  

Advice and systems review for logistics company based in the Channel Islands

We provide support to the UK subsidiary of this Channel Island-based service provider. This included the provision of advice throughout the pandemic, for example on CJRS (Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme).  

We have also undertaken systems reviews on their investments, outside of the area we are responsible for auditing. In the past we provided support on developing their finance function and prepared a report showcasing our findings.

Tax advice for logistics service in West London

A longstanding client of the firm undertook a group reconstruction, buying out some of its shareholders. This included considering tax clearances at HMRC and structuring a deal that would have little impact on credit agency scoring. We supported the client with subsequent warehouse purchases and advised on the resultant VAT implications. This included liaising with their bankers and ultimately offering a 6 month facility through the bank to cover the VAT element of the sale. We also advised on capital allowances and the tax treatment for moving goods between the UK and the continent, including the impact of Brexit and relevant customs charges, liaising with customs clearing agents where required.

VAT advice for packaging supply and transportation company

This UK based company specialise in the temperature control and global transport of certain products and was recently commissioned to transport the Covid vaccine in specialised containers.

Menzies was engaged to provide tax advice in the UK and to introduce HLB firms in overseas territories, to review the company’s position and to advise on the indirect tax treatment of transport charges and the VAT and duty position of its specialised containers, when moving internationally, plus advise on the potential for VAT recovery overseas.

VAT advice for logistics company on the South Coast

Following Brexit, this specialist warehousing, storage and distribution business required advice for one of its major US clients as to how to best structure its supply chain, for VAT and customs duty purposes, for the handling, delivery and sale of its product, between the US, UK and the EU, both B2B and B2C.  Menzies was engaged to obtain local advice from many EU Member States, using the HLB network, as to what the local indirect tax requirements were for importing and selling locally and what level of representation would be required.

The company were provided with a report and matrix of the local indirect tax requirements in the relevant countries, plus more specific advice for handling the supply chain through the Netherlands and Germany.  This resulted in obtaining a significant amount of new and relevant information as to how the EU Member States were handling compliance following Brexit.

UK and International Transport and Logistics Memberships

Menzies are members of the Road Haulage Association
Menzies are members of the Road Haulage Association.
Menzies are members of the United Kingdom Warehouse Association
Menzies are members of the United Kingdom Warehouse Association

Contact Menzies T&L sector team

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Sophie Said - ACA


Sophie Said is an Audit Partner in Menzies Heathrow office specialising in audit compliance, advisory services and head of the T&L sector.