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Achieving more for our members

Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy, Logistics UK

This is my last opinion column as Policy Director for Logistics UK. A new Policy Director will soon be announced, but in the meantime, I’ll be handing over these monthly pieces to guest authors in the policy team. As in all jobs, it is the people who make a company a great place to be, and at Logistics UK it is the members, as well as my team, who have made the last five years so rewarding. Over this period, by working together, we have managed to secure hundreds of policy wins for our industry.  

Trade associations only get the ear of government by presenting expertise, and we need member input to do that. We’ve significantly increased the number of member working groups during my tenure – where we’ve then been able to provide energy and insights which have helped deliver convincing evidence to affect change. We’ve launched a Van Policy Working Group, an Employment Action Group, and an Innovation Group, looking at Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs). This week we launched a Warehousing Policy Group and will soon be launching a Public Affairs Coordination Group. I encourage members to continue to provide insight to the working groups and you can find out more about them at https://logistics.org.uk/membership/logisticsuk-councils.

We’ve also made sure we have a clear articulation of our policy asks, which our restructure has helped facilitate by splitting responsibilities for policy formation and regional engagement work. This has allowed us to focus more on what our members need, with a four-strong Policy Engagement team. We’ve also launched a compliance series, so our members have a regular programme of webinars and information to help keep ahead of new legislation.

We’ve had big breakthroughs on a number of policy topics, especially over the past two intense but hugely rewarding years. I am proud of the regulatory wins my well-respected team has been able to negotiate to allow our industry to operate more effectively during COVID lockdowns, as well as the huge increase in public and government recognition earned by the sector. Our expert input to government, as well as advice to members, on Brexit preparations was truly appreciated, with Michael Gove writing to thank us for our constructive approach to finding pragmatic solutions. Almost every request we have made to government on driver shortages has been honoured, which is immensely satisfying – and I hope the difference will soon be felt by members.

I’ve been asked what I am most proud about from my time at Logistics UK and there are three things. Firstly, that Logistics UK is truly trusted by government, and our constructive, evidence-based, confidential approach has been proved to be the right tactic to influencing on behalf of our members. Secondly, that the objectives we designed for our own proposals on the future of logistics (flexible and resilient; recognised in its value; optimal in its efficiency and working towards zero safety and environmental negativities) have been adopted by government as the objectives for their Future of Freight study (cost efficient, reliable, resilient and environmentally sustainable). 

But most of all I am proud to have worked with such a great team of policy professionals at Logistics UK, and on behalf of such a passionate and important industry. I wish them and you every success in the future.


Published On: 17/03/2022 16:00:42


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