Freight forwarder Rhenus Logistics UK has called for the government’s cabinet committee to make a decision on the plans for a third runway at Heathrow arguing that continued delays could hinder British pharmaceutical manufacturers looking to export and import products from the continent.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, has warned the decision could be put back until after the summer recess if other priorities occupy the cabinet in July.
Rhenus argues that the UK pharmaceutical industry is the jewel in the UK manufacturing industry and generates a trade surplus of £3 billion per annum. A third runway at Heathrow would reduce the pressure on transport links allowing the sector to remain strong in an increasingly competitive global market.
Managing director David Williams said: “The government has set British companies an ambitious target of exporting £1 trillion worth of exports per annum by 2020. However, to achieve this, the UK needs serious investment in infrastructure. We are experiencing an increasing demand for air freight as UK ports continue to operate at maximum capacity. So, to fulfil this we have opened a new facility at Heathrow which will improve air freight efficiencies and provide a significant gateway to the EU and beyond.
“The postponement has been a blow, yet we hope the final decision will be made to go ahead with the building of the third runway next summer, which should allow the industry to steadily increase volumes in line with target.”