A report issued by Transport for the North (TfN) has identified that with the right public sector support there is the potential for the freight and logistics sector to up to £55 billion worth of benefits to the North of England and UK economies, resulting in up to 38,000 new jobs.
The Northern Freight and Logistics Report states that the North is a ‘super region’ for freight, handling around a third of UK road, rail, distribution centre and port activity against a population that only represents 24% of the UK total. The document identifies logistics as one of the most important services that could enable maximum growth in their target areas for economic development – including advanced manufacturing, energy and health innovation.
Commenting on the report FTA’s Head of Policy in the North of England, Malcolm Bingham said: “It is great to have such an important body recognise that public policy and logistics is not just about managing the social impacts of freight, but also about enabling our industry to contribute to economic growth across all sectors. Everything FTA members do is about serving society, and anything that helps us make this more efficient will be good for everyone in the region and the UK as a whole.”
Mr Bingham added: “The TfN Report is right in saying that if we are to make goods movements as sustainable as possible, in safety as well as environmental terms, and we will need to make the most of our opportunities in rail and water freight. However, the majority of road freight is unsuited to any other mode so any full plan must involve enabling road movements to improve their record too.
“While the Report is rail and port oriented, it does accept this – setting out a number of road improvements that will also be needed.”
The TfN Report also finds that social benefits can be achieved by support for rail and water freight movements, but that road development will also be needed.