A strategy for the Government and industry to work more closely together to deliver a world-class, seamless flow of freight across the UK’s roads, railways, seas, skies and canals has been laid out in the Future of Freight plan.
It explains how a national freight network will be explored to help remove any existing barriers faced by the sector which prevent it from delivering a seamless flow of goods across the country.
A call for evidence will also be launched to better understand how the sector can more easily approach planning applications, so there are fewer obstacles to creating bigger warehouses to meet customer demand, introducing more HGV parking or improving driver facilities.
In a further bid to decarbonise the sector, a freight energy forum led by both Government and industry will be set up to help create a clear path to net zero and to assess the freight sector’s future energy and fuel needs.
Saul Resnick, CEO of DHL Supply Chain UK and Ireland, said: “As we look to the future, bringing new talent into the workforce will be essential to help the UK achieve its ambitions in the sector, whether that's building a robust and resilient supply chain or the path to net zero.
“As a global business, DHL Supply Chain is making significant investments to support both recruitment and retention across the workforce, and the development of clean technologies. We look forward to working alongside the Government on this and other initiatives."
Government action to tackle the shortage of drivers has included making 11,000 HGV driver training places available through Skills Bootcamps, increasing the number of HGV driver tests available, and investing £52.5m in improvements in road side facilities and lorry parking.
New HGV drivers are taking and passing their driving test in record numbers. Between March 2022 and May 2022 DVSA carried out 29,384 HGV tests – 54% more than the corresponding period in 2019 before the pandemic.