Exploring The UK’s Transport Logistics Sector
The UK has a vibrant transport logistics industry that generates billions of pounds annually in revenues from maritime and port operations, warehousing, freight transportation, postal and courier services, as well as freight storage and handling. According to the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Britain's logistics industry has benefited greatly from low oil prices.
Freight Haulage Statistics
Figures published by the FTA show that the logistics industry moved 2.62 million tonnes of freight via air in 2014. In the same year:
• Vans moved 68.5 billion tonne kilometres of freight.
• HGVs moved 139 billion tonne kilometres of goods.
• UK ports handled 8.24 million container units.
• Railroads handled 22.14 billion tonne kilometres of goods.
• Domestic intermodal rail handled 6.41 billion tonne kilometres of goods.
In spite of these rosy figures, the FTA states that the transport logistics sector's fortunes depend on the state of the economy and the amount of disposable income in consumer pockets.
The Effect of Low Oil Prices on the UK Transport Logistics
Thanks to low oil prices, players in the transport logistics sector have benefited from lower operating costs for the first time since 2008 according to the FTA. This trend is likely to continue for a few years since pundits in the energy industry do not expect oil prices to rebound sharply in the near future. This means businesses involved in transport logistics will continue to enjoy revenue growth, better operating margins, and lower operational costs.
Like other industries, the transport logistics sector has taken steps to be as efficient as possible. To start with, cargo haulers with HGVs used about 1.1 metric tonnes of alternative fuels in 2014. This reduces environmental pollution. At the same time, average HGV fuel consumption is about 7.8 mpg. In addition, the percentage of HGVs running empty is relatively low at 28.6% in 2014.
Looking to the Future
The future of the transport logistics industry is bright due to several factors. Firstly, the UK has one of the most robust economies in Europe meaning consumers are unlikely to hunker down and save. Furthermore, unemployment has been falling steadily in the last five years, the construction industry is booming, and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is at an all-time low meaning consumers have disposable income to spend.
Britain has a well-established transport logistics industry that handles millions of tonnes of goods annually. This sector depends on rail, road, air, and ocean-based freight haulers to ship goods to consumers. Due to low oil prices, players in this sector now enjoy low operational costs.