Commit to logistics, FTA urges politicians

Monday 01 March 2010

Politicians must commit to the logistics sector or risk consigning the UK to a future of under-achievement, says the Freight Transport Association (FTA). The leading transport trade body has today set out its manifesto calling for politicians to make five key commitments to secure a safer, greener and more prosperous future for the UK and its supply chain.

Jo Tanner of the FTA said:

“Logistics delivers our food, our medicine and even warms our homes. Its 2.3 million strong workforce contributes billions to the Treasury each year and modern society is not only enriched by our sophisticated global supply chain, but almost entirely dependent on it. Yet, too readily politicians will treat logistics as little more than a cash cow and fail to tap into the huge potential to save money, drive environmental efficiency and improve road safety.

“If politicians can engage with The Commitments, as laid out by FTA, then we will all reap some real benefits. After all, this is a sector that warrants being made a song and dance over.”

The Commitments:

Invest in UK infrastructure

Work with us on carbon solutions

Amend the Highway Code

Respect commercial vehicles

Tackle truck crime

Investment in the UK’s infrastructure, which is top of FTA’s list, has both long-term and short-term benefits. As well as boosting the languishing construction industry, investing in a modernisation programme for the country’s transport networks will ensure that the UK is business-ready for years to come.

Tanner concluded:

“As we limp out of recession, it is more important than ever that the logistics sector is given political support at the highest level to not only improve how it runs, but also how it can profit the whole of society. We all want safer roads, greener business practices and a more efficient supply chain; it is time the powers that be started to listen more closely to the logistics sector to help make the UK all that it can be.”

Notes for editors

FTA’s Decision 2010: The logistics manifesto asks politicians to make five key commitments to the logistics sector.

1 Invest in UK infrastructure
By improvements to the UK’s transport infrastructure – road, rail, air and water – we will improve not only the transition between different modes, but business efficiency and continuity, and help to deliver environmental benefits too.

2 Work with us on carbon solutions
The logistics sector has already come a long way in improving its impact on the environment, from minimising its noxious emissions to reducing its carbon footprint. Government needs to recognise this and reward those who make this commitment, while making it more difficult for those who do not.

3 Amend the Highway Code
At present, learner drivers receive little or no guidance from the Highway Code as to how to behave around larger vehicles, including lorries. As a result, many motorists take pointless risks trying to overtake such vehicles, causing accidents and near-misses. Making guidance in this area part of the Highway Code and the driving test could save lives.

4 Respect commercial vehicles
Every UK-registered truck on Britain’s roads represents a contribution to the economy, yet this is rarely recognised. Politicians must look at commercial vehicles differently, see the benefits they bring to UK plc and, as a consequence, revise the taxation regime that applies to them.

5 Tackle truck crime
Truck crime costs the logistics sector £250 million every year, not only through lost loads and damage to vehicles, but also through injury to drivers. Supervision by the Serious Organised Crime Agency, greater co-operation between police forces and a consensus on the collection and collation of data will not only encourage improved reporting of such crimes, but also tackle the highly organised criminal gangs behind them.

For a copy of Decision 2010: The logistics manifesto please contact Michael Webb, FTA’s Public Affairs Manager, at or 01892 552297.


FTA Press Office

01892 552255