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Spotlight on a policy manager – reflecting on Multimodal 2022


Michelle Gardner, Head of Public Policy, Logistics UK

As Head of Public Policy, I oversee Logistics UK’s work across a wide range of policy areas and I personally lead on environmental and road policy, including driver facilities, and also innovation, such as connected and automated logistics.

Together, my team works on a variety of issues and to ensure we cover the topics that matter most to our members, we gather insight and feedback through Freight Councils, modal councils, policy working groups and other routes, such as surveys.

So, my first time at Multimodal – an event that aims to bring every logistics sector together – on 14-16 June was an important and busy one. It was great to see lots of members in person and there was a real buzz with so much going on in the industry right now.

Logistics UK held several sessions in its dedicated theatre and these were well attended. Our CEO, David Wells launched the Logistics Report 2022 and used this as an opportunity to talk about its key findings and the topical issues for the sector, such as rising fuel costs and the recently published Transport Select Committee report. This was an excellent platform to highlight member challenges and the work we are doing as a business group to address them.

I also hosted a panel discussion, ‘Road – a sustainable way forward’, with members and industry stakeholders to debate the challenges around road decarbonisation. We reflected on what the logistics industry needs to see in order to meet targets, looking at areas such as infrastructure, alternative fuels and barriers, including the cost of vehicles.

Thank you to members who joined the discussion. There was lots of engagement and it is clear that despite rising costs and other challenges faced by members, it is still an important topic, with appetite to work towards road decarbonisation.

Another important launch for Logistics UK was Generation Logistics, the new flagship campaign with the aim of getting people to understand the logistics sector, the breadth of roles available across industry, and why it is an exciting career to consider. Find out more about the campaign here. This campaign provides an important platform to build on the momentum created over the pandemic, where logistics has been recognised as an important sector, and make small steps to proactively address the skills shortages we face.

I also want to highlight the launch of the government’s Future of Freight Plan by Transport Minister, Trudy Harrison. This is an important piece of strategy that focuses purely on the logistics sector and covers all modes. I am excited to see it finally published and that government has taken on board many of our asks, such as recognising the value of the industry and working to address planning barriers, alongside additional funding for new technologies. Logistics UK will be engaging closely as new workstreams and actions are delivered, including the planning call for evidence in the coming months.

For me, Multimodal has been a great exhibition of the logistics industry. My key takeaway has been the commitment and resilience of the sector, and the excitement to promote careers across the industry. The spotlight is still there on the sector, and government is committed to supporting it. I was encouraged that the Transport Minister stayed and talked to members and joined in the Generation Logistics panel discussion.

However, there is still work to be done, and barriers and challenges to overcome – rising costs, skills gaps and net zero, to name just three. While it is encouraging to see the government’s new plan published, we also recognise that members are struggling day to day and will be doing all we can to support them.

My team and I will be continuing to engage on these important topics – we are always here to listen to members and keen to hear what is happening in businesses. I encourage members to join relevant working groups and Freight Councils, which are taking place over the next couple of weeks, to help facilitate that engagement. Find out more at https://logistics.org.uk/membership/logisticsuk-councils. Member surveys also help give us insight into the overall picture of the industry.

I look forward to continuing to work with members to help shape our activities and ensure we are focusing on what members care about most.

*www.logistics.org.uk/campaigns

 

Published On: 23/06/2022 16:00:22

 



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