Closer government and industry ties are essential to secure UK's supply chains, says minister

Wednesday 20 March 2024

A senior government minister has told leaders of the logistics sector that close government collaboration with businesses, academia and trade organisations is the only way to ensure resilient UK supply chains.

Delivering the keynote speech at Logistics UK’s Supply Chain Resilience event in central London today, Minister for Industry and Economic Security, Nusrat Ghani MP highlighted the objectives of the government’s Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy, launched January 2024, and reiterated that the measures set out in the strategy will only be impactful if they are developed and delivered in close partnership with industry.

The Minister of State also stressed the need to bring government and business together to collaborate on issues impacting critical imports, sharing insights and jointly designing and implementing solutions.

Nusrat Ghani said: “Despite facing the most unprecedented challenges in recent years, the UK’s logistics sector has proven itself to be exceptionally innovative, dynamic and adaptable.

“We know that prosperity and economic growth depend upon business and industry being able to rely on their supply chains. That’s why we launched the Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy as we take action to make sure the UK is a truly safe and reliable place to do business.”

The Supply Chain Resilience Conference saw senior decision-makers within the logistics industry discuss the pressing issues for the sector while sharing best practice on protecting operations against global and national supply chain risks. Issues tackled during the day included supply chain resilience modelling, sustainability, cyber-security and HR strategy, with the lively discussions highlighting the importance of mitigating the global and local risks stemming from an ever-changing business and geopolitical landscape.

Logistics UK President Phil Roe said: “The government’s commitment to working with industry to implement the Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy is to be commended. It shows an understanding of how fundamental the logistics sector is in securing the UK’s supply routes to ensure reliable access to the goods we need now and in the future.”

During his closing remarks at the event, Mr Roe reiterated the fundamental role logistics plays in a thriving society and called for formal recognition of this through representation for logistics and supply chains at the highest levels of government: “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.”