Logistics UK unveils General Election Manifesto

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The UK’s next government must appoint a Minister for Logistics and Supply Chain if future growth is to be driven across the whole economy, according to business group Logistics UK.

Launching the organisation’s Election Manifesto, which is aimed at the political parties as they prepare for the next general election, Chief Executive David Wells OBE stressed that focusing on investment and growth in the logistics industry would bring dividends for the UK’s whole economy.

“Whether manufacturing or retail, healthcare or education, every part of our economy relies upon logistics to provide all the goods needed to generate business and growth,” said Wells. 

“Innovative, integrated infrastructure backed by a national logistics network will deliver efficiencies and opportunities that can benefit us all. Giving logistics a voice at the heart of government would ensure that the needs of industry and business are heard, and that our sector can work with government to drive up the country’s productivity. 

Logistics UK launched its new manifesto, endorsed by senior leaders from across the sector, alongside publishing new survey data showing fewer than a third of adults think the government is doing enough to support this vital sector.  The Ipsos survey* of over 2,000 adults reveals that four in five adults agree that the strength of the UK's economy depends on having an efficient logistics sector that delivers goods in a timely and cost-effective way. The survey also shows that the UK public believes growing the economy and creating jobs should be the government's top priority around policies for logistics, followed by keeping the costs of goods down for customers.

“The public understands how vital logistics is and, rightly, does not think the government is doing enough to support the industry,” continued Wells. 

“Our sector, which services every part of the UK’s economy, would deliver up to £7.9 billion per year in productivity-led growth if backed by the right government policies, as well as creating jobs and trading opportunities both domestically and overseas. 

“The establishment of a cross-Whitehall Logistics Productivity Forum, led by a dedicated logistics and supply chain government minister, would ensure that benefits from our sector can be delivered to the whole economy.”

Logistics UK’s Manifesto 2024 Unleashing the power of logistics to drive growth across the whole economy will be distributed to all political parties ahead of the General Election, with the request that its policy proposals be incorporated into the parties’ own manifestos as they begin campaigning. In addition to the appointment of a new minister, the sector – which contributes more than £160 billion pa to the UK’s economy, is pressing politicians to establish key measures including:

  • Skills partnerships and reforms to funding models to ensure a continued pipeline of talent is attracted into the sector, with continued support for the successful Generation Logistics campaign which focuses on raising awareness of the opportunities the sector offers
  • Innovative and integrated infrastructure, backed by investment in a national logistics network
  • A fair transition to a green economy, underpinned by an agreed roadmap to net zero, depending on the availability of technology, infrastructure investment, regulatory reform and tax incentives
  • Backing for trade as a driver of innovation and productivity, with reduced border friction through new and expanded trading relationships with Europe and the rest of the world

As the logistics industry continues to face inflationary pressures, Wells confirmed that a key priority for the sector will remain the ability to keep costs down and stable, especially as it increases investment in the transition to green technologies. 

“Logistics businesses operate on particularly narrow margins, with limited funds currently available for investment in new technologies,” he continues. “We continue to press for a dynamic mechanism for Fuel Duty to be introduced, with tax incentives for the use and production of alternative low carbon fuels, to keep business costs down and ensure that the sector can invest effectively in a green future.”

*Technical Note: Logistics UK commissioned an online omnibus poll from Ipsos UK, conducted between 8 and 12 December 2023, among 2,183 adults aged 18-75 across the United Kingdom. A quota sampling methodology was applied to ensure that results are representative of UK adults aged 18-75 in terms of gender, age and geographical location. Data were then weighted to the known population of UK adults 18-75 to further ensure they are representative.

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