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Wider South East Freight Forum

Wider South East Freight Forum Aims

  • Promote a better understanding and partnership working between freight and logistics operators, business representatives and public sector.
  • Share good practice, knowledge, expertise and advice between the members across the wider geographical area.
  • Facilitate collaborative working to resolve common issues and drive action towards shared goals.

A bit of background…

The area covered by England’s Economic Heartland (EEH), Transport East (TE) and Transport for the South East (TfSE) is home to some of the busiest international gateways in Great Britain including Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick Airports, along with the ports of Southampton, Portsmouth, and Felixstowe, which all offer unparalleled reach and access to global markets.  

The Solent Freeport, Thames Freeport, The Port of Felixstowe and Freeport East fall into the region and will unlock billions of pounds worth of investment, create tens of thousands of new jobs and level up our important coastal communities. The area also has some of the busiest freight routes running across its geography, particularly those to and from the Midlands.

From parcels to cars and groceries – goods worth hundreds of billions of pounds are imported and exported each year from our country’s ports, airports, and international rail connections across the globe.

The movement of goods does not stop at borders. To recognise this EEH, TE, and TfSE have established the Wider South East Freight Forum, which brings together freight and logistics industry representatives such as Logistics UK, the Road Haulage Association, local authorities, business representatives, and ports and airports.

The Forum will support a better understanding of each member’s needs, identify areas for collaboration and joint working and be a mechanism to share expertise, knowledge and good practice across the wider south east. The forum will also enable members to support the implementation of EEH, TE, and TfSE’s work on freight.

The forum will bring together members’ intelligence, innovation, and advice while exploring the challenges and opportunities the sector will face in the coming years, how the transport network can be improved to support operator’s needs, and where we can promote and work to resolve issues, such as the need for improved lorry parking and driver welfare facilities.

The first meeting was held on the 7th of December 2023 where we identified members’ challenges, opportunities and priorities and highlighted common themes. Meetings will be held three times a year. At the next meeting on 19th March 2024 a forward work programme will be agreed, based on the members’ priorities, including topics such as decarbonisation, alternative fuel infrastructure,   and lorry parking and welfare facilities.