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Transport and logistics is leading the field in terms of the number of new business premises opening up – thanks to the boom in postal and courier services.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the sector has expanded far faster than any other industry, including retail, manufacturing and construction.

The number of premises for transport firms has grown by 88% since 2011 – and 21% since 2019, despite the chaos caused by Brexit and Covid.

Parcelhero said this growth is being driven by soaring online sales: “The growth in new premises for postal and courier operators in particular has outstripped any other area of any industry, and even outperformed the overall logistics sector growth,” said its head of consumer research David Jinks.

“Since 2011 the number of postal and courier depots and distribution centres has grown by an astonishing 147%, as Covid restrictions fuelled a surge in demand for home deliveries.”

However, despite this impressive growth, Parcelhero said this hadn’t been reflected in rates of pay, with hourly earnings below the national average and full-time HGV drivers, couriers and warehouse workers working nearly 42 hours a week, compared to a UK average of almost 39 hours.

Jinks said one reason was that fewer new jobs had been created than expected: “While the number of business premises has almost doubled in the last 10 years, employment in transport and storage was only 20% higher in December 2021, compared with December 2011,” he said.

“That’s because warehouses are increasingly automated and use many leading-edge technologies, such as voice picking and sophisticated warehouse management systems to increase the speed of operations and reduce the need for manual activities.”