The logistics sector is the cornerstone of the nation's economy and quite literally keeps Britain running. Why, then, is it under attack from a barrage of increased costs imposed on it by a Government that should be supporting British industry in these troubled times?
The logistics sector bore the brunt of a £533m increase in running costs thanks to an increase in fuel duty last December. This year the bill is getting even bigger, with another 1.84p per litre fuel duty increase and a series of eye-watering increases in fees by the Department of Transport's executive agencies.
What does this have to do with you? The logistics sector cannot bear this extra financial burden alone - and those additional costs are going to have to be passed on to you as the buyer of those transport services.
But before you reach for the calculator, you should know the sector is not taking this lying down. The Freight Transport Association is taking the fight to the Government with a new postcard campaign .
Every Penny Counts seeks to underline to MPs the impact these increases are having on an industry already suffering as a result of the recession. And, while we understand that this is a global problem, the increases proposed for our sector are entirely within the Government's gift. This is a campaign that matters to everyone, whether you're buying transport services or a loaf of bread. This additional cost burden will hit everyone in the pocket unless we get the Government to see sense.
Insolvency in the logistics sector is showing a sharp increase. Add to that an additional cost of £1,500 per truck and, chances are, those figures are going to go up. About 2.3 million people are directly employed in the logistics sector, with many more involved indirectly. With a recession in full flow, you would expect some of those jobs to be lost - but more will go at the hand of the Government unless it changes its mind on these fee and duty increases.
We're a proud sector, and we're not going cap in hand to the Government, we're just looking for understanding, a little common sense and investment in an industry that has done the country proud.
Jo Tanner is director of communications at the Freight Transport Association.