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The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has given a qualified welcome to a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the transport, logistics and warehousing industry.

Dubbed The rise of the UK warehouse and the golden logistics triangle, the report, published this week, looks at the sector’s importance for both the UK and local economies and considers changes over the last decade and since the pandemic.

Clare Bottle, UKWA chief executive said: “While we welcome increased interest in our industry from government, we have some concerns around the integrity of the data.

“For example, the definition of ‘transport, logistics and warehousing’ in the ONS report extends to businesses such as taxi firms and other passenger transport operations, which are not usually categorised as part of our sector.

Bottle also criticised the report for excluding retail and wholesale logistics users, which she said are major drivers for increased warehousing demand.

“Warehousing for companies like Amazon, Tesco and DHL will not have been considered in this report, so clearly the overall picture will be distorted,” she added.

Despite anomalies in the ONS report, UKWA said the report does reflect findings from a recently published report by the British Property Federation (BPF) and UKWA, which showed that the transport, storage and logistics sector is critical to the governments levelling up agenda.

Bottle called on the government to take note of both reports and act. She said: “Transport and storage growth is the fastest growing of any industry group, and our sector – along with e-commerce – is expected to continue to grow.

“Yet there is little or no government support for our sector in meeting the serious challenges of current labour shortages, planning and the transition to net zero.

“We look forward to raising our concerns with the ONS and working with them - and other government departments - to promote greater awareness of our role in the UK economy, more accurate insights into the sector and better understanding of the challenges we face.”