Release Date:
Release ID: 4628

FTA publishes blueprint for “the economy’s health service”

Investing in infrastructure is as important to the health of the nation as investing in the NHS, according to a new report out today. As politicians entered the second week of campaigning for the General Election, FTA launched The Logistics Report, which not only highlights the need for intelligent investment in the UK’s crumbling infrastructure, but also the strides made by the logistics sector to meet – and exceed – its environmental and safety obligations.

The Logistics Report comes at a pivotal time for the sector, which has borne the brunt of the recession. Seen as a blueprint for the next government, the Report urges collaboration between politicians and business.

Unilateral action by governments needs to be a thing of the past. Instead a new dawn of discussion and debate is required, claims FTA, if Britain is to come through the recession in a stronger long-term position. Most importantly, politicians need to recognise the fundamental role the logistics sector plays in making this happen.

FTA Policy Director James Hookham said:

“Logistics is the British economy’s health service. We are not looking for special treatment, but we are looking for greater respect for what our members do day in, day out. Our sector is a complex one, and so an intelligent response is required to meet its needs. Each of the transport modes is intrinsically linked and so, therefore, must the policy which impacts them.

“We understand only too well the pressures that the public finances are under, but a lack of investment in our transport networks would be a false economy. We need to reduce the congestion around our ports and parts of the road network and invest properly and strategically in our rail network in order to get the maximum benefit for business and the UK economy as a whole.”

There is a concern within logistics that the efforts the sector has already made have largely gone unnoticed by politicians, particularly in the realms of safety and the environment. Indeed, many decisions taken by governments in the past two decades have had a detrimental effect on the ability to innovate and invest.

In spite of this, the overall mood within the sector appears to be positive for the future, with many companies looking forward to some uplift in business during 2010 and an emergence from the economic struggles of the past 18 months in 2010.

The logistics sector is a progressive one and its ability to adapt to changing situations marks it out as one of the most resourceful. It is also the foundation for many of the things the public hold dear. In research commissioned for The Logistics Report, 93 per cent agreed that the sector supports local services, such as meals on wheels, while nine out of ten felt that it enabled consumer choice.

However, a lack of knowledge of the sector and the environment in which it operates can result in a negative public image. This is something FTA is determined to change, as it launches a new public engagement programme.

Called Love Logistics, the campaign aims to raise the public’s awareness of logistics and the positive impact it has on their day-to-day lives. Working across the sector, from individuals to companies, trade associations to trade unions, the campaign will help to restore pride in this industry which is the backbone of modern Britain.

Hookham concluded:

“There is an undeniable pride within the sector for its achievements and we want that same pride to be felt by the general public. UK logistics is a Great British success story and should be celebrated as such.”
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