Transport & logistics

aeroplane yellow

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.

Autumn statement – Tariff suspension on over 100 products

The Autumn statement announced measures to suspend customs duties on a variety of products, including aluminium frames for bicycle manufacture and ingredients for food products.  The suspension period will start on 1 January 2023 and will continue for two years, reducing tariffs as high as 18% to nil.

Between 1 June and 31 July 2021, the government invited applications for duty suspensions from businesses, where certain criteria could be met and the outcome of this has now been finalised.  Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application directly.

VAT Advisory update:

HMRC has announced that exporters will have more time to move over to CDS from CHIEF from 30th March 2024

Following consultation with the industry, exporters have been given an eight month extension to the deadline to transition to CDS.  The original deadline of 31 March 2023, has been delayed until 30 November 2023, after which exporters must use CDS to make export declarations.

The industry has welcomed this decision, as it will allow more time to deliver and test functionality, as well as allowing time for customer, software and procedural preparation.  HMRC intend to provide more information on the timeline for CDS exports by the end of January 2023.

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 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

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.

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 British International Fright Association
Menzies are members of the British International Freight 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

    Service head

    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.