Water

The UK is an island nation and 90% of everything we buy arrives at our shores by sea, therefore the maritime supply chain is critical for our global competitiveness. FTA is campaigning for world-class rail and road connections to our maritime ports, more effective government support to encourage mode shift to maritime, and greater use of our inland waterway network for freight.

Helping water freight deliver

Water freight is a crucial sector of UK logistics, and the UK has excellent port capacity and facilities. However this is not always matched by inland connections, both for road and rail. FTA is campaigning for world-class multimodal port connections to ensure goods move seamlessly and quickly to and from overseas markets.

The UK also has capacity for more goods to be moved by coastal shipping and inland waterways, which already account for 15% of UK domestic freight. With more effective government support to promote modal shift, and policy frameworks that protect and expand our inland waterway freight infrastructure, these modes could grow even further and reduce pressure on our congested roads.

FTA represents businesses across the maritime sector including Ports, Short Sea Shipping lines, as well as Coastal and Inland Waterway operators. We also represent shippers who rely on water freight to move their goods as well as road and rail operators, 3PLs and Forwarders who connect the maritime logistics network.

FTA is campaigning on the foremost sector issues such as:

  • improving inland connections to ports (road, rail and inland waterways);
  • campaigning for more effective government support to increase modal shift to maritime;
  • ensuring water freight is supported through government policy (e.g. planning rules and financial incentives);
  • advising government and members safety and cargo security;
  • making best use of our coastal and inland waterway sectors which account for 13% of UK freight movements.

FTA and the environment

Like many human activities the transportation of goods from A to B by rail, water, road or air all of it has an impact on the environment. Some modes more damaging than others, but the FTA works with all to reduce their effect.  

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Making Best Use of the Thames

Read our policy report which shows the importance of water freight to London’s economy, and calls on local, regional and national Government to do more to support this crucial sector.

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FTA Water Council: Have your say

FTA represents business across the maritime supply chain, including shipping lines, river and canal operators, ports, rail and road operators, 3PLs and forwarders. All FTA members are welcome to join our Water Council to help shape our policy and campaigns.

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Water Campaigns