Ahead of the #TfNTalks webinar today (12 Jan), Quadrant Transport looks at the draft Freight and Logistics Strategy to see how it will benefit the Northern freight sector.
Last week, Transport for the North launched the public consultation of their draft Freight & Logistics Strategy for the North of England.
It aimed to give the opportunity for the public to address the challenges that lie ahead for the sector and have their say on shaping the way forward.
With over 33% of goods entering through Northern ports, and 25% of GB freight starting in the North, the strategy is essential for TfN to identify the need for an efficient, multimodal freight network that is integrated across all modes.
There are 205,380 logistic enterprises in the UK, with 45,965 of these situated in the North
The aim of TfN’s Freight and Logistics Strategy is to analyse freight requirements across road, rail, port, and inland waterways in the Transport for the North’s region.
By 2050, the freight and logistics sector could be worth over £30 billion and employ over 500,000 people, proving an essential industry for the northern area.
However, the sector faces a number of challenges and constraints, such as a shortage of warehouse capacity (especially rail connected warehousing), lack of reliable and efficient east-west connectivity across the Pennines, and disproportionate reliance on ports in the South of England.
Identifying the current challenges on the existing network and creating solutions to support economic growth and decarbonisation is essential for levelling up the sector.
In 2021, the total rail freight lifted was 19.8 million tonnes in the UK
The need to accelerate the move to zero carbon and identify the strategic policy positions needed to develop and enable successful delivery of the strategy are also key objectives outlined within the consultation.
Peter Kennan told Quadrant Transport: “Transport for the North’s Freight and Logistics Strategy will help us to focus a lens on this key sector as a facilitator of growth and productivity.
The strategy also has a vital role in helping us look at decarbonisation of this important sector
“The same lens can help us focus on freight-related recommendations arising from the recent Union Connectivity Review and go some way to addressing the shortcomings of the Integrated Rail Plan, which failed to focus on the capacity needed for freight on the North’s railways.”
The #TfNTalks: A Freight & Logistics Strategy for the North of England, takes place on Wednesday 12 January, from 12 pm to 1 pm. Register free at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tfntalks-a-freight-and-logistics-strategy-for-the-north-tickets-232545548997