Logistics sector primed for future growth says Logistics UK

Tuesday 11 June 2024

A new report published today (11 June 2024) by Logistics UK lays out the opportunity which the sector, that operates at the heart of all UK economic activity, has to drive recovery. The business group's annual Logistics Report outlines how the industry - which generates annual revenues of £1.3 trillion and contributes £185 billion to the UK's GVA performance - is cautiously optimistic for 2024 and beyond, and identifies the areas where the sector can help accelerate the economy.

38% of respondents to Logistics UK’s Industry Survey are anticipating economic improvement for 2024, compared with 2023, but as Chief Executive David Wells OBE explains, this year has been one of consolidation rather than turning the corner to growth: 

Logistics UK Chief Executive, David Wells OBE said, “It is clear that our industry is still operating in challenging conditions, but the report paints a picture of a sector which is consolidating and taking steps to prepare so it can exploit the opportunities that will present themselves when the overall economy improves. The £185 billion GVA contribution which our sector made in 2022 (the latest official figures available) is in line with the 2021 figure of £160.2 billion when other factors are taken into account, so it is too soon to say the economy is returning to growth.

“Contributing £185 billion to the UK economy when the sector has been dealing with global geopolitical volatility, new trade processes, a financial recession and pressures on the supply chain caused by changing climate conditions is a great achievement. It demonstrates the sector’s resourcefulness and adaptability to keep the UK trading and satisfy the demands of businesses and consumers alike.”

The report also contains the latest Logistics UK Business Performance Index, which reveals overall business confidence and levels of investment remain steady and consistent with 2023. In particular, the sector is reporting extremely positive sentiment regarding the adoption of new technology, reflecting the importance of continued innovation in the sector.

“Our sector is often at the forefront of adopting new technologies as they apply to transport,” Wells continued, “with new solutions aiding businesses to phase out repetitive tasks or tackle access restrictions imposed for clean air zones. Logistics is constantly innovating to be ready for the next challenge, and it is encouraging to see how readily our sector embraces the challenges we face.”

Logistics remains one of the UK’s most significant employers: in March 2023, there were 214,160 logistics businesses operating in the UK, employing around 8% of the nation’s workforce. However, according to the Logistics Report the types of jobs are changing as automation and technology continue to improve, and the statistics show there has been a sectoral shift, with managerial and directorial roles in purchasing, transport and distribution seeing notable increases. 

David Wells continued, “A massive opportunity exists for the next government, whoever is elected, to build on the sector’s stable foundations and create an operational environment that will allow the industry to thrive and deliver economic growth that will benefit the whole of the UK. Our sector is entwined in so many aspects of society and business that we need senior representation in the cabinet and we have been pressing all political parties, should they be elected in July, to appoint a dedicated logistics and supply chain minister. With appropriate investment, policy changes and the right partnerships with government, it is predicted that the sector could provide a boost of up to £7.9 billion per year to the UK’s GDP in productivity gains by 2030.”

The Logistics Report provides a comprehensive benchmark for the industry reflecting on the past year and identifying future trends and sentiment within the sector. It combines the latest official statistics, insight from industry experts and the findings of Logistics UK’s Industry Survey which canvassed 500 of its members to gauge industry sentiment - details and summary of the report can be found here: Logistics Report 2024  

Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, please get in touch: Contact Us