Last reviewed 17 June 2022

According to the Department for Transport (DfT), millions of people across the UK will be encouraged to kickstart a rewarding career in logistics as the Government launches a multimillion-pound plan to bolster the supply chain and create a more resilient and greener haulage sector.

The campaign to recruit and retain a skilled workforce in the logistics sector is one part of the Government’s “Future of Freight” plan which sets a strategy whereby it would work more closely with industry to deliver a seamless flow of freight across the UK’s roads, railways, seas, skies and canals.

The report, Future of Freight: a Long-term Plan, identifies the main challenges, objectives and actions that need to be taken in five priority areas: National Freight Network (NFN); enabling the transition to net zero; planning; people and skills; and data and technology.

Including a £7 million investment, the strategy aims to boost the uptake of innovative new technology to help decarbonise and digitalise the sector. Funding could go towards initiatives such as trialing hydrogen cranes to support decarbonisation or even testing low carbon fuels across the industry.

The plan explains how the NFN will be explored to help remove any existing barriers faced by the sector that prevent it from delivering a seamless flow of goods across the country.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Our 33 interventions to tackle the shortage of drivers means we now have a stable recruitment pipeline and a robust supply chain, and today’s measures will help the sector grow from strength to strength”.

A call for evidence will be launched examining how the sector can more easily approach planning applications, so there are fewer obstacles to creating bigger warehouses and creating or improving more heavy goods vehicle (HGV) parking and driver facilities.

Welcoming the strategy document, Michelle Gardner, Head of Public Policy at Logistics UK, said: “The inclusion of £7 million investment to boost the uptake of innovative new technologies and the development of a National Freight Network is particularly welcome. The Government is also right to focus on planning rules to reduce barriers to building new logistics developments and driver parking and facilities — we look forward to engaging with the call for evidence”.