Logistics UK said it looked forward to working with Labour on plans to pump £1.8bn into the nation’s ports and end industrial decline, if the party was successful at the next election.

The freight business group said the UK’s international trade connections had fallen behind competitors in recent years and it was vital there was a renewed focus on ports and other logistics infrastructure, as well as work to reduce border friction and paperwork.

Labour has pledged to deliver “the most significant upgrade of Britain’s ports in a generation”.

It said the investment would attract billions of pounds more of private sector investment into UK ports and support domestic manufacturing across the country.

Labour said the investment would be funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas giants.

It intended to establish a new body called the national wealth fund, which would invest in green industries and upgrade ports.

Labour said this body would ensure that when public money was spent building British businesses, the British public would benefit from the return on investment.

Michelle Gardner, deputy policy director at Logistics UK, said the devil was in the detail of Labour’s proposals, but she added: “Ports and other logistics hubs are critical to the UK’s supply chains and our green industrial future.

“As well as being essential gateways for trade and the smooth delivery of goods, they will play an increasingly vital role for the charging of vehicles – on water and land, importing low carbon fuels and the development and operation of offshore energy infrastructure.”

Responding to claims that the government’s support for investing in port infrastructure had been inadequate, energy security secretary Claire Coutinho, said: “The only failure on renewable energy is the record Labour left when they were in power, when 7% of our electricity was generated from renewables whereas now that figure is 50%.

“On ports, not only have we got our world-leading freeport agenda but we have put forward projects such as FLOWMIS - the floating offshore wind manufacturing investment scheme - which is also helping to build our port infrastructure.”