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INSIGHTS: Launching our freight forum

Published: Tuesday 02 February 2023

INSIGHTS: Launching our freight forum

Midlands Connect has launched an Economy and Freight Forum, bringing together key stakeholders in the sector to understand how the private and public sectors can work towards growing our regional economy and decarbonising the sector. 
The group held its initial meeting recently and highlighted the importance of integrated supply chains, and working together to achieve decarbonisation.  

More than 22% of UK exports come from the Midlands, and with the concentration of freight activity known as the ‘golden triangle of logistics’ over 80% of goods moved around the country will have part of their journey in this region. The group recognises the importance of focusing on the infrastructure in the Midlands.  
It is an important area for Midlands Connect moving forward, and the establishment of this forum will provide some direction for our freight programme and opportunity to test our internal thinking. 

But significantly, the forum will have a clear purpose and develop its own independent agenda moving forward.  

It will also work with other Sub-national Transport Bodies around the UK and feed into the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Freight and Logistics which is holding an inquiry and planning to publish three reports on the topic this year.  

The forum launch was attended by representatives from national haulage companies, trade bodies and transport authorities. Initial discussions highlighted the need for multi-modal solutions, collaboration on alternative fuels and progress on interim options which will help the sector transition to net zero. 

They also pinpointed the issues arising from strategic national needs conflicting with the local planning process, and discussed examples of this happening on the ground.   

The membership of the forum will adapt depending on the needs and focus, but initially working with the APPG is the clear direction ahead, to identify how we come together around pathways for alternative fuels and needs of the sector, identifying clear policy asks from government.  

If you would like to learn more about the forum please get in touch with 

Alexandra Dodds is a Principal Policy Officer at Midlands Connect