The UK has more than 4,000 miles of inland waterways, stretching from the North West through the manufacturing heartlands of the Midlands down to the country’s southern coasts. Yet many businesses have still to recognise the opportunity which water presents for the transportation of freight across country at a lower cost than more conventional mode of transport.
The 2017 Freight by Water Conference, to be held at Doncaster Racecourse on 1 November, will focus on the opportunities which exist to link Leeds and other Northern cities to Humber port, as well as links between Manchester and Liverpool. The event, which is free to attend, will also provide an opportunity for delegates to debate how best to capitalise on the business opportunities presented by water transport, and present case studies on how water freight is becoming more integrated into last-mile distribution systems.
“Water is one of the unsung heroes of our transportation network modes,” says Alex Veitch, head of Global Policy at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which co-ordinates the work of Freight by Water, “yet the opportunities which it presents for business are enormous. At a time when businesses are facing increasing pressure to maintain margins while supporting their UK trading partners, the country’s inland waterway network is ideally placed to ensure deliveries can be made effectively and on budget. The Freight By Water conference will give delegates the chance to hear how water can be part of an effective multi-modal logistics business which links all parts of the country to maximum effect.”
As part of FTA, Freight by Water is the UK’s official body for promoting the benefits of water freight as a commercially and environmentally sustainable mode of transport. Speakers at the event will include representatives of key ports and waterways bodies, as well as Transport for the North and the Canal and River Trust.
“When considering a fully integrated logistics solution for the transportation of goods across the UK, between cities and ports, water is often overlooked, “ continues Veitch, “yet the benefits to businesses could be enormous if they were fully explored. We would encourage manufacturers and logistics businesses of all sizes to attend Freight by Water and discover exactly what a watery solution could bring to the bottom line.”
For more information and to book a place at this year’s Freight By Water event, which is supported by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and Multimodal, please visit www.fta.co.uk/events/Freight-by-Water-Conference.