'Overlooked' logistics industry has key role to play in government's levelling up, report finds

Tue 7 Jun 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

haulage sector

The “overlooked” logistics industry has expanded by 190,000 employees since 2019 and created a further 125,000 jobs in regional economies, new research suggests.

The growth of online shopping during the pandemic has made the sector one of the fastest growing in Britain, according to a report by Frontier Economics commissioned by Amazon.

It also says that the number of jobs in logistics has doubled since 2012 giving the industry an important role in the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda due to the jobs it could create in deprived areas.

Priority areas

Four in ten logistics jobs created since 2012 are located in the government’s high priority areas, compared to only one in four jobs for other sectors.

Sarah Snelson, director of Frontier Economics, told the Times: “It offers significant employment and progression opportunities, including for those individuals with limited formal qualifications.”

Employment in logistics has doubled since 2012 and is on track to overtake the size of NHS England, the UK’s largest employer, in 2023, the report revealed.

Fast track

Around 35,000 people in the sector were promoted into management jobs in 2021, with only a third of managers in logistics having a university degree, compared to close to half in the wider economy, reports Motor Transport.

The report also found that workers in the sector are satisfied on balance with their job security (67%), pay (67%) and workload (57%).

Logistics businesses increase an area’s economic growth by £300 per person per year, with every 1,500 logistics jobs supporting a further 1,000 jobs in the local area.

Government support

Baroness Vere, the Department for Transport’s roads minister, said the government had put in place 33 interventions to tackle the driver shortage that has troubled the sector more recently and would continue to support it.

“This study further demonstrates what we’ve seen over the last few years, that our logistics industry is crucial in getting essential goods around the country, creating thousands of jobs and levelling up the UK,” she said.

‘House in order’

Last week, a cross-party group of MPs last week called for the logistics industry to “get its house in order” by improving overnight facilities for drivers and by providing new training options to improve recruitment, the Guardian reports.

The Commons’ transport select committee said that if the changes are not made within two years, a supply chain levy on large supermarkets, oil companies and online service giants should be introduced to pay towards the cost of new facilities.