Logistics UK – industry and govt need to have shared supply chain vision

Industry and government need to have a shared vision of the supply chain in the face of Brexit and the economic recovery from the pandemic, according to Logistics UK (formerly the Freight Transport Association).

Logistics UK asked 550 of its members about their businesses in January 2020, and has used this as a baseline on which to assess the impact of the pandemic on the logistics industry. In January, before the global economic emergency showed its head, 50% of logistics businesses felt that the economy would remain the same in 2020 while 2/5ths felt it would improve.

David Wells, CEO of Logistics UK commented: “Britain is emerging from the COVID-19 outbreak into a different political, social and economic climate; now, more than ever, we need to ensure that government acts to unleash the potential of the logistics sector. As an enabler of economic and social activity, logistics has been critical to the functioning our country during the crisis and will be vital to its recovery, and eventual long-term growth. To guide government decision making and efficient public and private investment, we believe a shared long-term vision between industry and government is necessary, and, as the business group representing the logistics sector, we will continue working with government to ensure our members receive the support they need.

“While indicators for road connectivity and liner shipping have improved in recent years, the markers for quality of roads, efficiency of air transport, train and seaport services have decreased noticeably, making it clear that government must increase its investment into infrastructure to boost the international competitiveness of the UK.”

Wells continued: “Ongoing uncertainty surrounding the UK and EU’s future trading relationship had left those working within international supply chains unsure what of to expect and acted as a brake on the economy before the COVID-19 outbreak, however, general indications were for continued growth, albeit at a modest rate. And there were other positive indicators too, with road freight activity continuing its year on year growth: registrations for HGVs rose by 10.4% and van registrations by 2.4% compared to 2018. And in the rail freight sector, domestic and international bulk and semi-bulk rail freight grew beyond expectations in 2019, possibly influenced by growth in the construction sector.”