UK logistics companies

Which UK Industries Transport the Most Goods?

A Breakdown of the UK’s Goods Transport Sector

The British transportation sector is a category of companies that provide services to move goods, as well as transportation infrastructure. It consists of several industries including logistics, air freight, marine, airlines, and road and rail.

The goods transport sector is one that a lot of UK industries make use of, and it plays a huge part in the economy. It is an important business in its own right, with the output of core logistic activities accounting for almost 9% of UK GVA and around 7% of total employment (external PDF).

It is also a critically important enabler of the success of many UK industries of all sizes and sectors – from hospitality and events to manufacturing organisations, food distribution to laundry businesses, all play a vital role in the world of transportation of goods.

Believe it or not, there’s actually more to the logistics transport sector in the UK than the road, air, rail, and water networks. According to the GOV.UK website, domestic road freight activity registered HGV’s operating in the UK increased in a 12 month period ending March 2019, take a look at the results below:

  • Goods lifted in the UK by GB-registered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the twelve months ending December 2019 increased by 2% to 1.44 billion tonnes compared with the previous twelve months
  • Goods moved in the UK by GB-registered HGVs in the twelve months ending December 2019 increased by 1% to 154 billion tonne-kilometres compared with the previous twelve months.

This UK goods transport sector already faces competitive growth, with many small firms facing slim profit margins of around 1-3%. Any action taken in order to improve the sector’s productivity will result in cost reductions that will, in part, be recycled into reduced costs of production and transport goods and reduced prices for the consumer.

uk shipping lanes

Why is a Reliable Method of Transport so Important for UK Industries?

A world without transport is one that none of us have ever experienced and most likely, will never experience. But why exactly is it so important in this modern-day and age?

Goods transport is among the more vital economic activities for businesses. By moving goods from sourced locations to demanded locations, the transport sector provides essential services of linking a company to its suppliers and customers.

An essential activity in the goods transport function is supporting the economic utilities of place and time:

  • Place utility – Infers that customers have products available where they demand it.
  • Time utility – suggest to us that customers have access to products when they demand it.

Transport can sometimes be to blame in UK industries inability to properly serve its customers. Late deliveries will often be the source of service problems and complaints. On top of that, you also have the fear of your products incurring damage while in transit, or warehouse workers loading the wrong items at shipping. This can all lead to frustrated businesses, and even worse, frustrated customers; ultimately sending customers away to buy from competitors for future purchases.

However, it’s not all bad! The beauty itself of the goods transport sector is that when proper organisation is in place, companies can perform on time with complete and undamaged deliveries. When this happens, it instils customer confidence and gains even more business for the company.

freight traffic

What Are the Main Sectors Involved in the Transportation of Goods?

There are some UK industries that are mainly involved in goods transport all over the country, let’s take a closer look at them.

Food Distribution

In the food distribution sector, tight margins enable organisation. For a company to have a lean process that allows them to re-stock shops quickly and efficiently, they must improve their efficiency in reduced damage and eliminate waste. The goal is to be part of the solution, not the pollution. The more eliminated waste there is, the more positive impact you’ll have on the environment.

3PL and Logistics Operators

3PL refers to using Third Party Logistics and 4PL refers to using Fourth Party Logistics.

  • 3PL will focus on physical logistics service providers, for example, warehousing and transportation. In this arrangement, the third party will take ownership of all of the logistics services within the outsource scope and carry them out on behalf of the company.
  • 4PL takes it one step further. It will put all the logistics functions in the hands of a single logistics specialist, who will manage, plan and optimise the customer’s supply chain.

The main advantage of outsourcing some or all of these functions is to enable the company to focus on the things it does best – its core competencies in delivering value to their customers.

Hospitality and Events

Hospitality and events play a big role in logistics. It’s all about the integrated planning and control of moving goods and merchandise equipment on time in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Manufacturing Organisations

Manufacturing and engineering organisations streamline operations, moving parts and sub-components into the production line; and providing temporary storage during peak times.


When looking at goods transport in UK industries, pharmaceutical companies are probably the most sensitive. Transporting healthcare products must be done with care as they are of extremely high value and it’s a must to ensure temperature excursion and security breach don’t happen.

Postal and Courier Services

As online shopping is taking over the world, more and more consumers are embracing shopping postal and courier services. Due to this, organisations have seen huge increases in demands for their services.

UK industry

Let Us Help You With Your Logistics Operations

We at RollPallet UK have been providing logistical solutions to UK industries all over GB since 2003.

Many businesses have seen the benefits that our roll pallets add to all of their transport needs. Not only do we deal with all of the industries mentioned above, but we also work with a wide variety of retailers, laundry businesses and foodservice organisations.

Our main goal is to help these industries stay compliant with Health and Safety requirements, and successfully streamline their operations whilst staying efficient in the ever-changing marketplace in the world of logistics.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your transport business thrive more efficiently, please get in touch for a chat today!

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