£1trillion. That was the total amount of goods the UK traded in 2022 – £414 billion of which were imports and £644 billion, exports. Whichever way the goods were moving – in or out of the country – at some point they were moved by van or truck. All of which explains why the UK logistics industry is massive, last year creating 2.7m jobs.
But, as the 2023 UK Logistics annual report comments, 2022 was a challenging year, the industry grappling with huge increases in energy costs, inflation, Brexit and labour shortages. But, despite these challenges, the industry has hopes for a brighter future. In January of this year, overall business performance was perceived to have improved, with 34% of contributors to UK Logistics’ business confidence survey having better expectations for the year ahead and 42% predicting no change.
The Annual Report also included an update on the industry’s progress towards net-zero. It reveals that respondents operated 48,821 HGVs, 84,180 vans and 51,637 trailers. Over half (55%) of vans and 62% of HGVs meet Euro 6 standards. However, worries about the availability of alternative fuel sources are clearly preventing business owners from making decisions on more environmentally friendly vehicles – 64.6% of respondents reporting that they haven’t invested in any alternative fuels across their vehicle fleet.