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Logistics industry unites behind call for dedicated government minister

Heads of leading UK logistics groups urge government to acknowledge the pivotal role the sector plays in the economy by appointing a dedicated logistics minister

Eleven trade associations from the logistics sector have co-signed and delivered a letter to the leaders of the UK’s main political parties which underlines the potential of the logistics sector in driving growth and productivity – provided it receives adequate support through appropriate policies and the appointment of a dedicated minister.

According to the associations, the logistics industry forms the backbone of the UK economy, generating a substantial £163 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) and contributing significantly to tax revenues. Notably, £5 billion alone is generated from Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty.

“Achieving a policy environment that unleashes the potential for logistics to drive the economy would bring untold benefits,” says Phil Roe, President of Logistics UK, CILT Board Member and chair of the cross-industry group.

“Our industry supports all households, businesses and public services and can play a larger role in supporting the UK’s economic recovery and growth for the future. Our member businesses stand ready to play their part, but their concerns need to be considered at the start of the decision-making process. A dedicated logistics minister working across Whitehall would give us the voice to shape plans and maximise the benefits which logistics can deliver.”

In addition to a dedicated logistics minister, the letter also calls for coordinated action on policy areas including planning and infrastructure; sustainability and decarbonisation; skills and the battle for talent; and growth and trade, all of which say the leaders, are vital for efficient, green and safe logistics operations.

Roe added: “As a sector, logistics has the ability to transform the way other industries operate and could deliver up to £7.9 billion in productivity-led growth per year by 2030, according to research from Oxford Economics. To do this, our industry needs a focus from government, combined with radical planning reform, long-term infrastructure investment and a firm commitment to increase transport capacity nationwide.

“We need the next government to work with our sector on a sustainability and decarbonisation roadmap, to ensure our Net Zero goals can be achieved, backed by skills policies that will enable us to attract and retain the brightest and best minds. Our priority is to work closely with government to boost trade and protect the UK’s highly interconnected supply chain, for the benefit of both consumers and businesses, as we approach the next government’s term.

“The sector is united in its priorities,” concludes Roe, “and irrespective of who wins the next election, logistics will have a fundamental role to play in achieving their and the UK’s priorities. The sector is keen to work with the next government, and the appointment of a dedicated minister is entirely appropriate for a sector that generates £163 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) and employs over 8% of the UK workforce.”

The eleven signatories of the letter:
Richard Ballantyne OBE, Chief Executive, British Ports Association
Clare Bottle, Chief Executive, UK Warehousing Association
Geraint Evans, Chief Executive, UK Major Ports Group
Amanda Francis, Chief Executive, Association of International Courier & Express Services
Steve Parker, Director General, British International Freight Association
Phil Pluck, Chief Executive, Cold Chain Federation
Paul Sanders, Founder & Chair, Association of Pallet Networks
Maggie Simpson OBE, Director General, Rail Freight Group
Richard Smith, Managing Director, RHA
Ian Studd, Director General, British Association of Removers
David Wells OBE, Chief Executive, Logistics UK

Image caption: Pictured (from left) are Phil Roe, President of Logistics UK and chair of the cross-industry group; Richard Smith, Managing Director, RHA; Richard Ballantyne OBE, Chief Executive, British Ports Association; and Clare Bottle, Chief Executive, UK Warehousing Association.


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