Find Freight, Shipping and Logistics expertise in United Kingdom

Freight and shipping takes place to and from the UK via air and water and within the UK via air, land and water.

The total value of the UK’s exports in 2011 was $479.7 billion (CIA estimate) and the main export goods were manufactured goods, fuels and chemicals which went mostly to Germany, US, Netherlands, France, Ireland and Belgium. Imports were estimated at $639.5 billion (2011), consisted mainly of manufactured goods, machinery and fuels from Germany, China, Netherlands, USA, France, Norway and Belgium.

The United Kingdom’s transport infrastructure is highly developed and varied. There are 462 airports (2012) of which 272 have paved runways as well as nine heliports. There are 16,454 km of railway and 394,428 km of road of all of which is paved and 3,519 km of which is expressway (2009). In addition there are 3,200 km of waterways of which 620km are used for commercial purposes (2009). The shipping industry played an important role in UK’s industrial history and as such is highly developed. As the UK is entirely surrounded by water there are many ports on its coastline, approximately 120 commercial ports operating in the UK which offer a range of services from freight and shipping to passenger and local services. The largest ports in the UK include Dover, and Teesport in England, Forth Ports and Glasgow in Scotland, Milford Haven in Wales and Belfast in Ireland all of which offer a highly developed service. There are some 500 vessels servicing the UK such as bulk carriers, cargo, chemical tankers, containers, roll on/roll off and vehicle carriers amongst others. There are two main industry bodies in the country which are the United Kingdom Major Ports Group Limited (UKMPG) and the British Ports Association (BPA).

The World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) scores countries on various aspects involved with shipping and logistics on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. In overall performance, UK scores 3.9, above the average for both the Europe and central Asia region (2.71) and the high income (OECD) income group (3.3) and ranks 10th in the world.

The UK has a highly sophisticated freight and shipping sector providing all manner of services including road and rail distribution; maritime intermodal services; air freight consolidation and forwarding; customs broking and consultancy; packing of goods for export; warehousing and distribution; and logistics and supply chain management. Global courier firms such as DHL, UPS, TNT and FedEx operate in the market. The British International Freight Association is the leading trade association in the sector.

The World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) scores countries on various aspects involved with shipping and logistics on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. The United Kingdom ranks very highly in all aspects of LPI ratings; it is in the top ten out of 155 countries for customs (10th), tracking (10th) and timeliness (10th) and in the top 15 for logistics (11th), shipment (13th) and infrastructure (15th).

Freight, Shipping and Logistics organisations in United Kingdom
British International Freight Association
DHL
FedEx
GBS (Freight Services) Ltd
TNT
UK Trade and Invest
UPS