TfN looks to transform northern freight & logistics sector

Published: 26 August 2015

TfN looks to transform northern freight & logistics sector

Transport for the North (TfN) will be working on developing a dedicated freight and logistics strategy for an integrated transport network in the North in a bid to boost freight activity and jobs.

TfN, a group formed from major Northern city authorities in the UK as part of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse agenda, have appointed specialists Mott Macdonald and MDS Transmodal to oversee the development of the strategy and to determine the size, role and growth potential of the logistics industry in the North.

Upon completion of the initial studies, they will work on creating suitable investment proposals and a policy agenda aimed at supporting the sustainable development of the sector. It is expected to deliver a sustainable transport system, which supports business growth and job creation while at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

The resulting freight and logistics strategy is likely to be part of the updated Northern Transport Strategy, which will be presented to the Chancellor before the 2016 budget.

David Brown, TfN executive board member, said: "This is the north doing things differently - the public and private sectors working together and looking holistically at what we can do to boost our freight and logistics potential.

"Despite the fact that up to 60% of containers entering the UK are destined for the midlands and the north, 90% arrive through southern ports. This needs to be rebalanced. An efficient, sustainable freight industry is of massive importance to economic growth, supporting countless industries.

"Mott MacDonald and MDS Transmodal have been brought in to devise a clear strategy across road, waterways, rail and air which will underpin the transformation of northern connectivity, supporting northern industry and paving the way for a northern powerhouse."

Mike Garratt, MD of MDS Transmodal, said: “The freight industry accounts for around 8% of the economy and makes huge investments in its own fleets and infrastructure in a highly competitive environment, while depending on the road and rail networks provided by the public sector.

“Our objective is to identify a shared vision covering investment, operations and planning that will command the confidence of the private sector, attract investment and promote economic success for Northern England on a sustainable basis.”

Eddie Mellor, Head of Transport Planning North at Mott MacDonald said: ''We are delighted to be working with the TfN and engaging with a wide range of public and private sector actors within the freight and logistics sector to draw together a cohesive and powerful strategy that supports the exciting economic prospects of the North.''

The TfN partnership is a unique collaboration between the northern city region authorities, Government and the national transport agencies, created with the shared aim of transforming Northern growth, rebalancing the country’s economy and establishing the North as a global powerhouse through enhanced connectivity. To find out more you can visit

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