Business, Freight News, Logistics

Underpaid, undervalued and under trained – the UK logistics industry in 2012

[ November 16, 2012   //   ]

The state of the UK economy, environmental challenges and a looming skills gap are among the challenges facing the UK logistics and supply chain sector according to a monograph by Hull University Business School’s Professor David Grant.

Professor Grant, who is director of the school’s Logistics Institute, authored the paper for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals for the Global Perspectives Series that now includes monographs on 17 countries, including the UK.

CSCMP, based in Lombard Illinois, is a professional association of supply chain management professionals with over 9,000 members.

Professor Grant recognises that once a world manufacturing powerhouse, the UK, despite being the third largest economy in Europe, has since come to rely heavily on its service industries – including the £67.5 billion logistics industry – to contribute to its £1,435 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The logistics sector grew by almost 10% during 2009/10, and currently employs some 2.3 million people in 196,000 companies, but according to Professor Grant, while continued growth in the sector is predicted for the next two years, the main issue is the unknown length of the economic recovery.

While the UK’s domestic logistics and supply chain networks and systems rank amongst the world’s top ten for efficiency and effectiveness, an ageing workforce, less training by smaller firms and a lack of appreciation by government and general population of the importance of the sector are a challenge.

Professor Grant concluded: “Such an impactful industry on the UK economy should be viewed upon for making the valuable contribution that it does to society. There is a real need for the public to gain a better understanding of the vital role logistics play in UK business. Road freight is not just something that ‘has to be tolerated’ by an impatient motorist driving behind a heavy goods vehicle.”