Logistics And Frieght Forwarding

An Industry Vital to the UK Economy | UK Export Resource, UK …

The freight forwarding industry is a major player in UK logistic supply chains. It is made up of a variety of niche and global players ever ready to react to changing market conditions.

It is estimated that there are around 3,000 freight forwarding companies in the UK ranging from very small specialist niche operators with less than 10 staff to the UK offices of multi-national enterprises with several hundred staff. A recent survey estimated that 70% of the UK s export and import shipping is handled by the freight forwarding industry.

The original freight forwarders were little more than port customs clearance agents grouped around the main ports such as the Port of London, Liverpool and Southampton. The advent of consolidation services for air freight and sea freight long haul traffic led to a demand from exporters and importers to deal with one company for all the transport arrangements door to door including, if required, packing, documentation and insurance.

Forwarders also handled European exports and imports originally by train ferry wagon groupage but, during the 1980 s, more and more by road trailers as ferry companies started roll on/roll off services across the English Channel and the North Sea. Many hauliers expanded into freight forwarding operations and today forwarders are no longer concentrated around the ports but can be found in every major UK industrial conurbation. The construction of the Channel Tunnel has also seen the transfer of European express traffic from airfreight to forwaders consolidation services.

The UK forwarding industry has its own trade association which has developed trading conditions which protect the interests of both the shipper and the forwarder in the event of loss or damage to goods and which gives advice to both customers and forwarders on the latest regulatory changes affecting the international movement of goods.

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