Business, Freight News, Rail

Brexit could derail rail freight growth, FTA warns

[ June 6, 2019   //   ]

Challenging times lie ahead for the rail freight sector, according to FTA’s 2019 Logistics Report, launched in association with Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking.

While domestic bulk and semi-bulk rail freight grew beyond all expectations in 2018 more challenging times lie ahead for the sector, with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it warns.

With indications of a reduction in global demand in 2019, the survey respondents anticipated a substantial decrease in domestic intermodal activity. On the international level, bulk and semi-bulk rail freight declined in 2018, with no change predicted next year.

Director of UK Policy at FTA, Elizabeth de Jong, commented: “The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has already led to hesitancy among clients with manufacturing growth reaching a three-month low in January and new business projects falling to an eight month low.”

The 2019 Logistics Report, launched by FTA in association with Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking, polled the opinions of more than 500 freight and logistics businesses operating in the UK and internationally.

The report also found that the UK’s global competitiveness has dropped significantly and investment in the UK’s transport and logistics infrastructure is urgently required to boost its attractiveness to international investors. Furthermore, the survey indicated that the uncertainties surrounding Brexit are taking their toll on the wider logistics industry; 61% of respondents say this uncertainty is a barrier to the growth of their businesses internationally.