17/10/2007 - AICES Calls To Utilise Airport Capacity

Wed, 20th June, 2018

The Association has called on the Department for Transport to give greater priority to freight transport issues emphasizing the continued need to fully utilize existing airport capacity, reduce congestion on Britain’s roads and to be aware of the limits to modal shift from road to rail and water borne freight, following their submission to the Transport Select Committee Inquiry into the DfT’s approach to freight.  For further information on the inquiry click here.   

A spokesman for AICES, Mark O’Brien said, “  The difficulties faced by the department in reducing high levels of private car use and the challenge associated with encouraging greater use of public transport should remain the department’s key priority.   Members already operate full vehicles having consolidated them effectively. 

 In addition If the UK economy is going to remain competitive, it is vital that existing airport capacity is used to the full to support the future growth in trade  and that freight should be entitled to a share of any additional capacity derived from the expansion of Heathrow.  The continuation of dedicated freight night flights at East Midlands Airport, Luton and Stansted are vital in ensuring that sufficient capacity is maintained to meet the large volume of demand for time definite express deliveries.”

The Association is concerned with the continuous emphasis on modal shift from road to rail and water borne freight.  The express sector is based on rapid and time specific deliveries with heavy emphasis on using planes, lorries and vans.  The scope for moving to alternatives is extremely limited.

Practically every organisation relies on fast and efficient transportation of goods, components and documents in order to ensure their commercial competitiveness and success.  The express industry specialises in time-definite, reliable transportation services for documents, parcels and freight. It has allowed British business to rely on the predictable, expeditious delivery of supplies, thereby enabling them to attain and maintain global competitiveness.

This usually requires goods to be picked up at the end of the working day for delivery early the following day. The only way to achieve such a delivery schedule is by the operation of aircraft outside of normal business hours, including those defined as night, between 11pm and 6am. Night flights are only used when no other alternatives are available.

Typically, the types of goods transported by express services are high-value items such as electronic components, automotive spares, product samples and pharmaceutical products. With e-commerce becoming a major driver for the UK economy, the express industry will play an increasingly important role in the supply chain ensuring business efficiency and consumer satisfaction. The ability to fly at night is therefore particularly important for express operators to meet the “next day” needs of customers.

For the full submission to the Transport Select Committee click here

Notes to editors:

1. The Association of International Couriers and Express Services (AICES) is the UK trade association for companies handling international express documents and package shipments and its members include household names such as DHL, FedEx, TNT and UPS. Our members are responsible for over 95% of the international courier and express shipments moved through the UK every day, providing the “just-in-time” information and goods that organisations from hospitals to major financial institutions rely upon.

2. The sectors that are most reliant on express services are among the most productive and the fast growing areas of the UK economy including the manufacturers of electronic components, telecoms and financial services.  Rapid, cost-effective delivery is increasingly important to these sectors’ ability to compete in global markets with more than two-thirds of companies reporting that express delivery services are vital or very important for their business success.

3. A recent independent report by Oxford Economic Forecasting entitled “The Economic Impact of express Carriers for UK Plc” reveals that the sector currently contributes nearly £1 billion to GDP and £1.3 billion of economic activity to the UK economy and directly employs 32,000 people and indirectly supports a further 72,000 jobs.