The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has welcomed the government’s newly published Future of Freight Plan, and agrees with its finding that a disconnect exists between industry and local planning authorities that are unable to understand the needs of a changing and innovative freight and logistics sector.
This is the first-ever cross-modal and cross-government plan for the UK freight transport sector, which sets out the government’s long-term vision and follows extensive collaboration with industry and stakeholders.
The plan identifies the main challenges, objectives and actions that need to be taken in five priority areas:
The National Freight Network – Identify a National Freight Network (NFN) across road, rail, maritime, aviation, inland waterway and warehouse infrastructure. The long-term aim will be to remove the barriers which prevent the seamless flow of freight.
Transition to net zero – Support the sector in its transition to net zero. Launch a Freight Energy Forum with industry, focused on collaborating to assess future energy and fuel needs, and paths to providing the requisite infrastructure.
Planning – Further embed freight in planning, transport and design policy and guidance, and ensure freight is represented in planning reform. Publish a call for evidence with industry to support this work.
People and skills – Expand awareness of the sector and freight careers amongst the public, particularly through the industry-led and government-backed Generation Logistics communication campaign. Maximise the impact of cross-government employment and skills programmes for the freight sector.
Data and technology – Maximise opportunities for uptake of innovative technology and digitalisation, including through delivery of a dedicated cross-modal £7 million freight innovation fund.
Clare Bottle, UKWA Chief Executive said: “This plan focuses on meeting some of the key challenges faced by the UK’s warehousing sector, as well as the wider logistics industry. It’s important that industry plays its part but equally that relevant areas of government collaborate to ensure its success.”