Logistics UK, the UK’s most prominent business group representing organisations across the supply chain, has been confirmed as a founder member of the UK government’s new Critical Imports Council, which has been established to identify and mitigate disruptions to the supply of critical imports such as medicine and hi-tech components.  David Wells OBE, the group’s Chief Executive, participated in the inaugural meeting of the group which took place today (17 April 2024) at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London.

Announced as part of the government’s Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy1 , published in January 2024, the Critical Imports Council brings together 23 representatives from business and academia. The intention is to create a forum to enable cross-sectoral collaboration and best practice sharing on approaches to build supply chain resilience and ensure the flow of critical imports into the UK.

Business and Trade Minister and Chair of the Critical Imports Council Alan Mak said, “It’s never been more important to strengthen our supply chains and make sure vital goods can continue reaching consumers, in the face of the pandemic, the Red Sea attacks and many other crises around the world.

“That’s why we’re now going even further to strengthen our critical goods supplies with the launch of this new Council, which will bring together government and industry experts to help protect businesses from supply chain shocks now and in the future.”

According to Logistics UK, the interconnected nature of global businesses means the UK’s supply chains can be disrupted significantly by world events, as has been seen in recent years with the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and, more recently, interruptions to shipping routes in the Red Sea. The Government’s Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy highlights the need for resilient supply chains to protect ongoing business and industry in the UK and recognises that the strategy will only be impactful if the measures are developed and delivered in close partnership with industry.

Speaking after the meeting, David Wells OBE said, “Logistics UK’s seat on the Critical Imports Council recognises the vital role that the logistics sector plays in ensuring the success of the UK economy, and we welcome the government’s invitation to join the discussions, building on the knowledge we amassed during the pandemic. The breadth of experience on the council is exceptional and, working together, we can develop practical solutions to secure the UK’s supply chains and mitigate risks to the flow of essential goods to UK households, businesses and public services.

Our invitation to sit on the Critical Imports Council reflects our standing in the sector as the eyes and ears of the logistics industry in the UK. We can now ensure that our members’ concerns are voiced and addressed at the highest level when it comes to the practical implications and requirements of securing the UK’s supply chains.”

Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, please visit logistics.org.uk

Source: logistics uk