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That is the prognosis, at least, of Geoff Corpe, managing director of U.K. freight management at Exel. "The British market has changed profoundly in the last couple of years," says Corpe. "We have seen a month-on-month decline in export traffic flows. I check the figures every month, not to look for signs of recovery, but just to see how steep the dive is getting."
The latest gradient of fall shows that in May there was a 17.7 percent drop-off in outbound tonnage compared with the same month last year.
"That is the worst I have seen it," says Corpe. "But it comes as no real surprise.
The U.K. manufacturing base has effectively been exported abroad to China and other parts of Southeast Asia and it will never come back."
He points to key air cargo sectors, such as the auto and high-tech industries, where the impact has been at its most severe.
Despite such a hemorrhage, Exel, according to Corpe, has managed to build its share of U.K. business by S to 8 percent in the same time frame. It ranks second only to DHL Danzas Air & Ocean as the market leader and the two companies combined--well, they were talking about that.
"We have obviously had to get a lot smarter about the way we do business and the way we retain existing business," says Corpe. "That means concentrating on key sectors such as pharmaceuticals and printed matter, which are still strong out of the U.K., and on particular traffic lanes." …