Logistics and the Economy

Logistics underpins the whole of the UK and world economy. Production, manufacturing and retail are all only possible with the movement of goods. Changes the in speed, reliability or cost of logistics directly affect UK plc, and the cost of living of the people who live here.

Logistics and the Economy


Logistics directly contributes to economic activity through investment in warehousing, road, rail, sea and air transport.  It also creates many excellent jobs, providing skilled careers for thousands.  But that is not why logistics matters economically to the UK.  It matters because all economic activity depends on the existence and efficiency of logistics.   

To carry out farming, fishing, mining, manufacturing and selling to the public, you need to move the goods that are created.  To import goods to enhance our standard of living, or export goods to generate money for the economy, you need logistics. 

Logistics is never carried out for its own sake, but only to support the rest of the economy.  Anything that adds cost to logistics or makes it harder or slower, adds friction cost into the UK economy.  Equally anything we do to make logistics in the UK work better has a direct positive impact: enhancing economic growth, reducing the cost of living and improving the UK’s international competitiveness. 


Key facts

Examples of industries relying on UK logistics (by all modes): 

  • Farming, forestry, mining: 36bn tonne kms per year 

  • Food and drink products: 38bn tonne kms 

  • Machinery: 10bn tonne kms per year 

  • Mail/parcels: 9bn tonne kms per year 


What is FTA campaigning for?

FTA has four priorities for logistics and the economy:

  • Investment by Government in road and rail infrastructure to maximise efficient movements 

  • Supportive national and local government policies to enable private sector investment in infrastructure such as airports, ports, rail freight terminals and warehousing.

  • Support for off-peak deliveries to allow maximised use of under-utilised infrastructure 

  • Tax and charging regimes that encourages operational and environmental improvement without just penalising industry 


Policy Manager


Christopher Snelling

Head of UK Policy 



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