Uk Market Analysis – With Andy Deighton, Business Unit Director Uk & Ireland

We sit down with Andy Deighton, our Business Unit Director for the UK & Ireland to discuss current market trends, potential impacts for our customers and other businesses, and what to look out for in 2023/24.

Suttons vehicle powered by HVO with decal

Can you tell us about your background in the chemical industry and logistics?


I have been involved in the logistics industry for over 28 years. Throughout my career I have had roles in leading teams in multiple logistics and supply chain sectors where I have created developed and fulfilled strategies.

My first experience in the chemical sector a number of years ago was when I headed up a team to develop and implement solution design for pharmaceutical chemicals globally. In October 2021 I joined Suttons International to head up the UK and Ireland Division. I am thrilled with my team and the excellent work we are doing in bringing our customers fantastic value added and safe service.


What current factors are impacting the UK chemical logistics market?


The market is still currently feeling the sting from the volatile conditions caused by Brexit, and Covid 19. While we are past the worst of it by this point, the impact of these two events still lingers on.

More recently, the conflict in Ukraine has caused a number of knock-on issues which have greatly impacted our industry. One of the most obvious issues being the shortage of some raw materials and the cost of energy prices sharply increasing, which in turn have increased manufacturers’ production costs.

This often results in costs being passed down to customers, which in turn can result in a downturn in sales, and a slump in the market overall.

How do you foresee these factors impacting the UK market throughout the next year and beyond?


In the short term, from speaking with other industry members, including other logistics suppliers and customers, we do not generally expect to see any market volumes reaching the highs we experienced before, and during, the pandemic.

This is due to a number of factors already mentioned, as well as larger economic trends which can be felt in all industries across the UK and indeed the globe.

However, it is not all doom and gloom, we are consistently evolving, adapting and devising value added services for our customers and expect volumes to eventually recover.

How are Suttons reacting to these impacts?


As mentioned, we are not experiencing the same level of volume that we previously had.

We are using this drop in demand to really focus on bringing the highest levels of service to our contract and spot customers. We are taking a very close look at our operation to find ways to offer added value where we can, to help offset any of the cost increases I have already talked about. As well as this we have increased campaign assistance for a number of our customers, and increased storage capacity to ensure call off volume is available at all times.

We are also taking the opportunity to upgrade and improve our internal processes and systems. Digitalisation is also a huge focus for Suttons , and we will have exciting news to share in the coming months. We are in strong position to offer customers and prospective customers a consistent experience of the highest levels.

Finally, we have made a concerted effort to become an employer of choice. We have made improvements in our company culture, invested in new offices and facilities for our teams, and have implemented progressive hybrid and remote working options. This ensures we attract the very best staff and gives our existing staff the opportunity to develop and progress in their careers.

I would like to take this opportunity to mention how extremely proud I am of the UK & Ireland team for their commitment to each other and our customers, and the resilience and strength they have demonstrated in the face of these challenges.

Are there any examples of what customers can expect from the improvements to our operation?


We are currently implementing a digital solution for a specific customer which will provide real time tracking information, delivery status updates, and order information, as well as providing a document warehouse solution which allows our customer to access all relevant documents from an online portal.

We are all familiar with this kind of thing in our day-to-day life through services like Amazon, however implementing this for our industry has been a large undertaking and is something we are extremely proud of.

We are excited to with the prospect of being able to offer this solution to all of our contract customers in the future.

Suttons Group News

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and ongoings from Suttons Group.

Discuss your requirements

Our knowledgeable team is on hand to discuss your requirements and answer any queries you might have.