Logistics UK today (2 February 2023) held its Freight Council in Belfast where members had the opportunity to meet with Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker MP, to discuss key issues facing the logistics sector in Northern Ireland (NI).
Nichola Mallon, Head of Trade and Devolved Policy at Logistics UK comments: “Today’s meeting provided a valuable opportunity for our members to meet with Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the logistics sector. The logistics industry is key to maximising opportunities and growth for the NI economy, and Logistics UK has consistently highlighted the importance of communication between industry and government as a key factor in delivering and driving success.
“Some of the key issues raised by members at the meeting included the NI Protocol, and the need for a negotiated outcome between the UK and the EU that works for logistics businesses. Members also raised concerns about the potential impact of the Retained EU Law Bill on NI businesses, and Logistics UK was encouraged by the Minister’s acknowledgement and awareness of the impact of these issues and welcomes his agreement to ongoing dialogue moving forward.”
The discussion also focused on the support needed for the transition to net zero, in particular investment in charging infrastructure, power supplies and the need for government incentives, including through taxation to assist businesses. Also mentioned was the need for delivery of long delayed, key infrastructure projects such as the A5 and York Street Interchange, and upgrade of the A1. Members also raised the need for improvements to the A75 in Scotland. Logistics UK is encouraged by the Minister’s engagement with members on these issues, and his active willingness to work with the sector to seek solutions.
Speaking at the event, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker MP, said: “Northern Ireland is a great place to do business, with a thriving economy and the freight industry truly demonstrates its potential. It is truly remarkable the amount of work the NI Freight industry does with 6% of the total tonnage handled at UK major ports going through NI ports. I am thrilled the freight industry continues to do so well and contribute so much to the local economy as we continue to promote Northern Ireland as a great place to work and do business.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk