Logistics industry recovery evident but has still has some way to go, says Logistics UK report

After three years of heightened trading conditions and untold pressures on the supply chain caused by the global pandemic, business group Logistics UK’s annual Logistics Report released yesterday (13 June) shows that recovery is starting to be seen across the sector. 

The report – the business group’s market-leading overview of the sector – reveals that, according to the latest available data (for 2021), logistics businesses added £163 billion to the UK economy and generated just over £1 trillion in revenues; a 19.2 per cent increase on the previous year and the same as in 2019, and a welcome sign of recovery from Covid-19. 

Despite this, 2022 remained a challenging year as chief executive of Logistics UK, David Wells, explains: “While the initial months of 2022 witnessed a resurgence in consumer spending and increased business activity, in the second half of the year the logistics sector navigated a difficult economic climate due to a global energy price shock – triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine – in addition to changing trade processes driven by Britain’s exit from the EU and the increasing need to decarbonise. Nevertheless, our industry continued to demonstrate its adaptability with the UK trading £414 billion exports and £644 billion imports in 2022. The outlook for overall business performance continues to be encouraging with 77% of survey respondents noting the same or better economic expectations for 2023 compared to 2022.” 

However, as the report highlights, further challenges remain for the sector, particularly decarbonisation and the impact of inflation and the cost of living crisis. Wells continues: “Transport remained the highest greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting sector across the UK in 2022, with industry calling for reform and investment across a host of policy areas. Our sector is embracing the challenge of decarbonisation, with almost all respondents (93.7%) reporting they will invest either the same as last year, or more, in alternative fuels in 2023. However, there is still an urgent need for investment and innovation to reduce GHG emissions at the pace and scale necessary to meet net zero targets. And with inflationary pressures continuing to affect prices across the economy, the current turbulent business conditions look set to continue in the next twelve months.” 

The Logistics Report 2023 uses in depth analysis of the latest official national statistics, as well as data collected by Logistics UK’s Industry Survey to provide oversight and analysis of the issues which have shaped the industry over the past year. To view the report, please visit: www.logistics.org.uk/research-hub/reports/logistics-report  

Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.

With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK businesses.

Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.