Logistics sector continues to deliver

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The logistics industry continued to deliver in 2010 despite rising business costs, public spending cuts, tough trading conditions and natural disasters, according to The FTA’s Logistics Report 2011, published in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Logistics Report collates industry statistics and official data to present a dashboard of the performance of logistics in all modes and across the range of economic activities.

While 2009 was plagued by redundancies and insolvencies, figures reveal that fewer companies made staff redundant in 2010, with those expecting to do so in 2011 having halved.

But with transport operating costs having risen well above inflation (the cost of diesel alone rose by nearly 15 per cent in 2010), road transport operators have clearly scaled back on investment and training.

James Hookham, FTA managing director – policy & communications, said: “The Logistics Report 2011 tells the story of the past 12 months and presents an account of how the millions of people employed in the sector are responding to the challenges of fast changing commercial, political and natural environments.”

The report looks at the views of the industry is based on FTA and PwC surveys and analysis; the consequences for transport policy and spending following the General Election and the Coalition government; and logistics’ agility and responsiveness to two bouts of severe winter weather and the closure of air space due to the volcanic ash cloud.

The Logistics Report shows that industry’s perception of government has improved, with only 12 per cent believing that the government has no understanding of the role of logistics in the economy, compared with 26 per cent in the preceding year.

“We have made good progress, influencing the transport policies of the Coalition government – witness the reduction in fuel duty announced in the Budget. However, public perception of the sector shows there is still much to do. The Love Logistics campaign, of which this report forms part, aims to raise awareness and understanding of logistics and the vital contribution it makes to everybody’s lives. The Logistics Report will become an important annual milestone in monitoring and reporting progress in the campaign,” said Hookham.

* The Department for Transport has highlighted the importance of the Freight Transport Association’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme.

The scheme, which was launched in July 2010, sees members commit to regularly reporting their fuel use figures from which carbon dioxide emissions for the scheme are derived, together with a set of four activity and business-based normalisers.

Transport minister Mike Penning said: “I welcome the Freight Transport Association’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme. The fact that it already covers nearly 40,000 vehicles – and will expand to cover more – will help to provide a detailed picture of the quantity and trend of carbon emissions by the freight industry and show that it is capable of working together, voluntarily, to tackle its harmful emissions. The scheme is the first of its kind for the freight sector, and should deliver real progress toward the UK’s carbon reduction targets.”

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