Taxation is one of the single biggest concerns for FTA members. The Association campaigns on behalf of the logistics industry to create the optimum economic environment for members to service the UK economy and society.

Reducing the cost of logistics would expand the economy, make Britain more competitive globally and reduce the cost of goods in the shops.

What is FTA Campaigning for?


  • FTA is calling for rail freight diesel duty (red diesel) to be cut to reflect the social good (i.e. on emissions, safety and road congestion) that rail freight brings.
  • Rail Track Access Charge increases should be prevented to avoid harming rail freight prospects, and long-term reductions delivered instead.


Fuel Duty 

  • UK road freight is currently the most highly taxed in Europe – Fuel Duty is far higher than in other European countries. Even where road user charging is used extensively, UK operators still pay more for their operations per mile than any other EU country.
  • FTA is calling on the government to boost the economy by reducing Fuel Duty by three pence per litre (ppl). There would be no environmental harm as the same quantities of goods need to be moved as before, and operators still have a massive incentive to be fuel efficient as it makes up one third of their costs. Research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that if a 3ppl Fuel Duty cut was introduced by government it would bring substantial economic benefits. It would also be virtually revenue neutral for the government as rises in other tax receipts would offset losses on Fuel Duty.
  • Increasing Fuel Duty would have no environmental benefits as far as logistics is concerned as, again, the same quantity of goods would have to be moved and there is currently no mass alternative to diesel that can easily be taken up.
  • Alternatively powered HGVs have not taken off en-mass yet, but alternatives to diesel are getting closer to being workable. FTA is calling for government to further decrease taxes on alternative fuels to kick start the process of making alternatives to diesel viable and commercially self-sustaining.
  • FTA urges government to offer capital tax relief to companies seeking to purchase alternatively powered vehicles to help stimulate this market towards self-sufficiency.

Urban Charging

  • Urban restrictions and charging regimes are increasingly applying the car ‘ultra-low emission vehicle’ standard to their scheme across the full range of vehicles, so alternatively powered HGVs or hybrid vans capable of being zero emission whilst in city centres are, in practise, still being prohibited or charged in full. This is hindering take up of alternatives to diesel amongst commercial vehicles. 
  • FTA is calling on local government to provide charging discounts or special access to be offered to Ultra-Low Emission Trucks and Vans, not just applying only the car standard as the test for this.


FTA is a founding supporter of Fair Fuel UK, the campaign alliance of hauliers and private motorists aimed at ensuing sensible road transport taxation policy. Find more details at

Find out more

Contact Christopher Snelling, Head of UK Policy at FTA

FTA briefing: UK Logistics, Taxation and Charges (March 2019)

FTA submission to the Chancellor of the Exchequer - Budget Statement 2017