United Kingdom Freight and Logistics Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The United Kingdom Freight and Logistics Market is segmented by Function (Freight Transport, Freight Forwarding, Warehousing, and Value-added Services and Others) and End User (Manufacturing and Automotive, Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying, Construction, Distributive Trade, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry, and Others End Users (Chemicals, Telecommunications, etc.)).

Market Snapshot

UK Freight and Logistics Market Summary
Study Period: 2017-2026
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >2.5 %
UK Freight and Logistics Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The UK freight and logistics market is anticipated to register a moderate growth rate of 2.5% during the period. Logistics has been facing unprecedented challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of keeping the UK economy supplied with all the goods it needs to function, as well as coping with the increased disruption to staffing levels caused by sickness and self-isolation and concerns about the viability of their businesses.

According to the Industry Reports, the COVID-19 lockdown led to the rapid expansion in the digitization of fleet services. Much of this trend has been prompted by the sudden and widespread switch to home working that the lockdown has caused. Brexit is going to have a significant impact on the international road freight transport market. As per the latest agreement, the UK haulers can carry out one cabotage operation, and the EU haulers can carry out two cabotage operations in the UK territory.

Rail freight is poised to play a much bigger and prominent role in the movement of goods in the UK. The use of rail freight is steadily increasing in the UK, with a total volume of rail freight moved to rise by 3% year on year. ​ Network Rail has forecast that rail freight could grow by around 30% by 2035 if sufficient capacity were made available. The development of the Europe – China rail network and underground rail networks can bolster the growth in this sub-sector.​

Technical developments and commercial and environmental pressures over the next 30 years are expected to encourage freight operators to explore innovative ways to ship goods through ports. According to British Ports Association, it would result in a growth in traffic through almost all the ports in Britain.

The supply chain needs to respond to heightened competition in the last mile, as e-commerce operations grow in the wake of the coronavirus. Last-mile logistics will be a highly competitive environment, as companies look to their supply chains to give the best possible customer experience. This will call for technological innovation to enable retailers to scale up home delivery systems to fast once normality returns.

Scope of the Report

Freight refers to any type of goods, items, or commodities that are transported in bulk via air transport, surface transport, or sea/ocean transport. Logistics refers to the overall process of managing how resources are acquired, stored, and transported to their final destination.

The UK freight and logistics market is segmented by function (freight transport, freight forwarding, warehousing, and value-added services and others) and end user (manufacturing and automotive, oil and gas, mining, and quarrying, construction, distributive trade, healthcare and pharmaceutical, agriculture, fishing and forestry, and others end users (chemicals, telecommunications, etc.)). The report offers market size and forecasts for the UK freight and logistics market in value (USD billion) for all the above segments.

By Function
Freight Trasnport
Shipping and Inland Water
Freight Forwarding
Value-added Services and Others
By End User
Manufacturing and Automotive
Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying
Agriculture, Fishing , and Forestry
Healthcare and Pharmaceutical
Distributive Trade (Wholesale and Retail)
Others (Telecommunications, Chemicals, etc.)

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Key Market Trends

E-commerce Market to Drive Growth in the Sector

The logistics sector is restless, seeing the growing demand for logistics services generated by the boom and evolution of e-commerce. The United Kingdom (UK) has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe.

The United Kingdom’s continued leading role in online retail is causing the logistics and transport sectors to rethink their models to ensure future growth. Consumer demands for flexible deliveries have increased, which provides retailers and the logistics sector the challenge to achieve the required level of flexibility.

The United Kingdom’s continued leading role in online retail is causing the logistics and transport sectors to rethink their models to ensure future growth. Consumer demands for flexible deliveries have increased, which provides retailers and the logistics sector the challenge to achieve the required level of flexibility. In regard to this, the demand for last-mile delivery services and less than truckload service has been growing significantly, with many start-ups are entering the market to address the challenges that occurred by the explosion of e-commerce.

In regard to this, the demand for last-mile delivery services and less than truckload service has been growing significantly, with many start-ups are entering the market to address the challenges that occurred with the explosion of e-commerce.

UK Freight and Logistics Market: E-commerce Industry, Revenue in USD Billion, United Kingdom, 2017-2019

Road Freight Transport Holds the Major Share in Freight Transport

Around 89% of all goods transported by land in Great Britain are moved directly by road, and 98% of all food and agricultural products in Great Britain are transported by road freight. Approximately 98% of all consumer products and machinery in Great Britain are transported by road freight.

Ports are increasingly working on improving efficiencies. For instance, truck turnaround times at the Port of Liverpool fell after Peel Ports (owner) announced to turn its focus to road haulage efficiencies. ​

Road freight transport operates the most extensive transport network of all freight modes. The network provides flexibility and convenience for door-to-door delivery and supports the growing e-commerce sector. Road freight transport occupies a major share in inland freight transport, with around 90%, followed by rail. ​

UK Freight and Logistics Market: Road Freight Transport, Volume in %, by Cargo Type, United Kingdom, 2019

Competitive Landscape

The report covers the major players operating in the UK freight and logistics market. The freight and logistics market in the United Kingdom is fiercely competitive, fragmented in nature with the presence of many international and domestic companies. The top players in the segment include DHL, DPD, and UPS among international players, and Clipper, Wincanton, and ACS among domestic players.

In this environment, where profit margins are shrinking, road haulage operators have to be highly efficient and cost-effective in order to remain profitable. ​Throughout Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, thousands of road transport operators handle materials for retail, manufacturing, automotive, and construction industries. ​

E-commerce and digital platforms have transformed the logistics sector largely due to the high presence of logistics companies, making it easier for the consumer to order and get the product delivered.

Major Players

  1. DPD

  2. DHL

  3. UPS

  4. Wincanton PLC

  5. Kuehne + Nagel International AG

UK Freight and Logistics Market Concentration

Recent Developments

January 2021: XPO Logistics completed its acquisition of the majority of Swiss firm Kuehne + Nagel’s European logistics. XPO acquired its contract logistics operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

June 2020: Wincanton was appointed by supermarket giant, Morrisons, to manage additional transport and vehicle maintenance operations. The new extended partnership continues to enhance Morrisons’ logistics operations and the service to its stores across the United Kingdom.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Technological Trends

    3. 4.3 Government Regulations and Initiatives

    4. 4.4 Industry Value Chain/Supply Chain Analysis

    5. 4.5 Insights on Freight Rates

    6. 4.6 Spotlight on E-commerce Market (Regional Trends of Domestic as well as Cross-border E-commerce, and Key Performance Indicators will be Provided)

    7. 4.7 Insights into Courier, Express, and Parcel (CEP) Market (Market Volume, Key Players, and Future Outlook)

    8. 4.8 Brief on 3PL Market in Italy (Market Size and Forecast, and Top Players)

    9. 4.9 Spotlight on Free-trade zones (FTZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

    10. 4.10 Spotlight on Key Logistics Hubs and Cities​ in the UK

    11. 4.11 Demand and Supply Analysis – Trucks, Drivers, and Labor

    12. 4.12 Insights on Inter Modal Transportation

    13. 4.13 Effect of BREXIT on the European and UK Logistics Markets

    14. 4.14 Brief on China – Europe Rail Freight Network and Importance of the UK ( Current Freight Flows and Future Outlook)

    15. 4.15 Spotlight on Operating Costs and Fuel Costs

    16. 4.16 Impact of COVID-19 (Short-term and Long-term Impact on the Market and the Economy)


    1. 5.1 Market Drivers

    2. 5.2 Market Restriants

    3. 5.3 Market Oppurtunities

    4. 5.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 5.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 5.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 5.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 5.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 5.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

  6. 6. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value )

    1. 6.1 By Function

      1. 6.1.1 Freight Trasnport

        1. Road

        2. Shipping and Inland Water

        3. Air

        4. Rail

      2. 6.1.2 Freight Forwarding

      3. 6.1.3 Warehousing

      4. 6.1.4 Value-added Services and Others

    2. 6.2 By End User

      1. 6.2.1 Manufacturing and Automotive

      2. 6.2.2 Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying

      3. 6.2.3 Agriculture, Fishing , and Forestry

      4. 6.2.4 Healthcare and Pharmaceutical

      5. 6.2.5 Construction

      6. 6.2.6 Distributive Trade (Wholesale and Retail)

      7. 6.2.7 Others (Telecommunications, Chemicals, etc.)


    1. 7.1 Market Concentration Overview

    2. 7.2 Company Profiles

      1. 7.2.1 DPD

      2. 7.2.2 DHL

      3. 7.2.3 UPS

      4. 7.2.4 Wincanton PLC

      5. 7.2.5 Kuehne + Nagel International AG

      6. 7.2.6 BulkHaul

      7. 7.2.7 XPO Logistics

      8. 7.2.8 Hermes

      9. 7.2.9 Turners (Soham) Limited

      10. 7.2.10 Fedex Uk

      11. 7.2.11 Maritime Transport

      12. 7.2.12 Eddie Stobart Logistics PLC

      13. 7.2.13 DSV Group

      14. 7.2.14 Clipper Logistics Group

      15. 7.2.15 Palletways

      16. 7.2.16 Allport Cargo Services ACS

      17. 7.2.17 Great Bear Distribution

      18. 7.2.18 Gist Ltd

      19. 7.2.19 W H Malcolm Ltd

      20. 7.2.20 Eddie Stobart Logistics*

      21. 7.2.21 Other Companies (CEVA Logistics, Davis Turner, Yusen logistics, P&O FERRYMASTERS, GEFCO UK, City Sprint UK, Menzies Distribution, Brenntag UK & Ireland, Gregory Distribution (Holdings),Fowler Welch, Hoyer Petrolog UK,C M Downton (Haulage Contractors) Ltd, Kinaxia Logistics Limited, and Pentalver Transport*)

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

  9. 9. APPENDIX

    1. 9.1 GDP Distribution, by Activity and Region

    2. 9.2 Insight into Capital Flows (Investments by Sector)

    3. 9.3 Economic Statistics – Transport and Storage Sector

    4. 9.4 External Trade Statistics – Export and Import, by Product

    5. 9.5 Insight into Key Export Destinations

    6. 9.6 Insight into Key Import Origin Countries

    7. 9.7 List of Prospective Clients for Logistics Service Providers

**Subject to Availability
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Frequently Asked Questions

The UK Freight and Logistics Market market is studied from 2017 - 2026.

The UK Freight and Logistics Market is growing at a CAGR of >2.5% over the next 5 years.

DPD , DHL, UPS, Wincanton PLC, Kuehne + Nagel International AG are the major companies operating in UK Freight and Logistics Market.

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