Business Articles

Top 15 Ultimate Logistics Companies in the UK

June 8, 2021

The UK has the most advanced Logistics industry in Europe. With the variety and the more prevalent e-commerce, this is not going to change. 

In this article, discover the top 15 Logistics companies in the UK and why this sector is interesting to invest in and work with.

What are logistics companies?

Logistic companies provide organization plan to implement and execute the movement and storage of products materials and services throughout the supply chain from the start to the consumer. This also includes parts such as shipping, disposal, security, package, transportation and warehousing.

When speaking about logistics, we also need to touch upon the rise of E-commerce. It is due to the complex global supply chain that the demand has risen. Due to the circumstances and the time to come up, logistics companies had to coordinate some if not all of their processes and adapt their offering to better respond to their clients’ needs.

Going deeper into logistics management is a crucial part of supply chain management and supply chain engineering. Aside from the things it entails such as effective forward, and reverse flow and storage of goods services, etc. Logistics nowadays also heavily focused on delivering related information between the point of origin and point of consumption to fulfil the needs of the consumer.

Why do logistics companies matter?

Logistics companies matter in more ways than just delivering goods. They have a variety of experience in managing the movement of set goods but more than that they also bring to the table that they know the most cost-effective streamlined and efficient way to deliver them. So should you consider working in a close relationship, partnering with a professional logistic company, then consider the following benefits that include:

  • Shipping and transport – so logistic companies are all about delivering goods and most manufacturers won’t invest in their own vehicles of transportation or even boats. It is very cost heavy and not effective considering the licensing and the strain of finding good staff. These resources could be used somewhere else. This is where logistic companies are ready to offer their services.
  • Warehousing – this is a straightforward one, warehousing is becoming more and more complex and expensive. Logistic companies take it then upon themselves to optimally find a suitable and affordable storage place for their clients to save time doing it themselves.
  • Flexibility – with the flexibility we mean the capacity to scale up or down, reducing the risk of problems such as delays that should harm customer demand. With their know-how, also comes the fact that in dire situations they can effectively adapt their processes and tweak and change their shipping courses or even transportation methods in the event that the supply chain is disrupted. They have the resources and experience to do so.
  • Packaging – packaging is very important, looking at logistics. So it is Needless to say that accurately for filling customer orders on time is very demanding and needs to be done by experienced workers and with special equipment. Knowing all this, logistic companies are specialized in minimizing errors and delays because of the simple fact that they want to maintain their reputation and meet the customers need.
  • Technology- which brings us to our next point, which is technology. Technology is hard to come by just for regular manufacturers it is again cost heavy, demands a lot of space, and should also be more reliable if you know which machines or technologies are the best suited for which kind of products and goods. Other than that there are other examples of technology being used in logistic companies such as tracking software long-range RFID tracking and something as simple as automated software that enables easier load scheduling. It is with these that logistic companies proved to be more effective when it comes to digitizing the supply chain.

When considering working or partnering with a logistics company, you should keep these factors in mind:

Visual of partnering with logistics companies
  • Efficiency – is it possible for the logistics company to commit to processing orders within a certain time limit? It’s obvious that partnering with a logistics company that can’t deliver the goods and provide the right services at the right place at the right time for the consumer should not be considered a good partner.
  • Expertise – keep in mind that not all companies will be as performant on chain supply chain management. You need to find a company that best meets your needs for example organizations must have their priorities be it packaging, shipping, time management etc.
  • Sustainability – yes sustainability has grown in importance and priority for a lot of organizations around the world which also extends to the logistics companies you work with. Supply chain sustainability is key for certain organizations, and you should know where it stands for you.
  • Price – Needless to say that logistics companies pricing must suit your desires. You must then conclude for yourself whether the pricing is transparent.
  • Reliability – it’s important when establishing a long term relationship with a business partner whether it be a logistics company or any other type of company that it is trustworthy and above else a reliable partnership. It is OK to perform background checks and especially market research on the registers company you aim to work with.
  • Health and safety – It’s important for logistics company 2 to value and prioritize health and safety regulations for the well-being of your and its employees. Knowing this, analysing whether they have an extensive policy a third party auditing end of the course and adequate training is important before establishing any partnership.

It is important to establish what’s your company needs. If you find that manufacturing within outsourcing management operation with logistics companies is more cost-effective then you should do so. However, some manufacturers might find it more cost-effective to manage logistics internally.

The goal of logistics companies is obviously to deliver the right amount of a resource or input at the right time, acquiring in a proper location in the right condition and delivering it to the correct customer be it internally or externally.

The efficiency of supply chain management and an effective logistical procedure are key to reduce costs, and keeping and even increasing the efficiency. Do not forget that logistics are very important and poor delivery of logistical management might lead to two unsatisfied clients which ultimately might also end up in failure of the business.

Touching on supply chain logisticians, their presence has been increasing ever since the late 60s. The reason for this being that supply companies, with the materials and resources they need along with the worldwide expansion of the supply chain, has led these specialists to rise up.

Nowadays, thanks to technological advancement and the complexity of logistics processes, logistics management software in specialized logistic centred firms have been key for successful supply chain management. That’s why manufacturers or just companies such as Amazon have decided to manage a bigger portion of the supply chain themselves. If you want to dominate the landscape as a big company, being innovative and efficient in logistics in every corner of the supply chain will lead to success.

How big is the logistics industry?

So looking at the United Kingdom, show the UK Freight, along with the logistics market is said to grow at a rate of 2.5% during the period. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the logistics industry has been suffering a lot of unexpected and impactful challenges, this holds true as well for the UK economy supplied with all goods it needs to function but also with coping with the growing disruption to staffing levels that came along with the sickness, the self-isolation and concerns about the viability of certain businesses.

Due to COVID-19 lockdowns, digitalization has rapidly developed in the fleet services, according to the industry reports. This has been further amplified by the fact that a lot of employees had to work from home due to lockdown. To add to this, Brexit which happened a year ago is going to have a rather important impact on the international road freight market.

Rail freight is set to play a larger and more defined role in the transportation of goods, specifically in the UK. Its use is only growing in the UK and total volume is rising by 3% year-on-year. By 2035, the rail freight is anticipated to increase by another 30% as predicted by Network Rail.

In recent years YouTube commercial and environmental pressure and technical developments, freight is being encouraged to find new and innovative ways to ship their goods through ports. This is set to happen in the next 30 years. This will allegedly result in an increase in traffic through a large amount of the ports in the UK, as stated by the British sports association.

E-commerce operations will be the biggest rival of the supply chain in the last mile due to their growth during the coronavirus crisis. Looking for the best customer experience is now a top priority for many companies, this makes last-mile logistics a highly competitive environment. Companies want to give the best customer experience possible, looking at their supply chain. Due to this surge in technical innovation, retailers will be enabled to scale up home delivery systems quickly when everything returns to normal.

Recent trends

The biggest trends right now are heavily influenced by the E-commerce market. The E-commerce market is set to drive the increase in the whole sector. The United Kingdom is known for having the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe.

The UK is putting pressure on other online retailers and indirectly forcing them to revisit their models of logistics and transportations to ensure future increase. Flexible deliveries have been more and more the norm due to consumer demands. Which in turn boots a bigger challenge to retailers and the logistics sector to actually achieve that flexibility.

Following this last-mile delivery services and less than truckload services, following the demand, have been growing significantly because of the entering of startups in the markets that want to address the challenges that occurred indeed an explosion of e-commerce.

Road freight transport holds a share of about 89% of all goods transported via land in the UK. As many goods are transported directly by road. Agricultural products in the UK and food make up for 98% of transported road freight. Consumer products and machinery in the UK are almost 100% being transported by road freight.

Compare to rail freight, air freight and ports, road freight transport operates the most extensive transport network. This sector provides a supporting role in the growing E-commerce sector, enabling flexibility and convenience for door to door delivery and support. Looking at inland freight, it holds 90% of it, followed by rail freight.

The Competition

Touching on the biggest players in the UK freight and logistics market. The UK knows some fierce competition in that sector because of the presence of many international and domestic companies. Two key players within the domestic field R Clipper and Wincanton and within the international ones are UPS and DHL.

Due to the nature of this environment, i.e. the fact that profit margins are diminishing, being cost-effective and efficient to maintain profitability is what road haulage operators have to do.

The logistics sector h has been undergoing a transformation because of E-commerce and digital platforms and their presence in logistic companies, which in turn makes it so that consumers have an easier time ordering and getting their product delivered.

Top 15 logistics companies in the UK

Freightliner

Visual of Freightliner

Providing customers with an array of rail freight solutions to stand in for the requirements of a diverse market sector, the shell free partnership they offer is reliable as well as cost-effective. The operates services across the entire UK rail network as well as offering rolling stock and infrastructure maintenance solutions. This while being a leading provider in intermodal and bulk freight haulage, that possesses terminals and depots all over the UK.

In numbers that are more than 770,000 maritime containers per year, with the full logistic package provided into them, making sure that satisfaction from the port to the door is enabled. Customer service, reliability and flexibility is what they continue to invest in as well as locomotive technology, terminal and wagons infrastructure to give a quality of service far beyond customer expectations. Looking at Europe, that includes Poland and Germany with G&W’s Rotterdam rail feeding and the Netherlands and Belgium feeding processes.

Mango Logistics Group

This logistics company is a recent, bespoke logistics provider specializing in keeping the whole globe a sweet place. More specifically they are made up of three specialists in central London, Mango international, Mango storage and Mango Courriers, that work together to ship simple but also complex, global or local, storage and transport solutions. Mango does not only limit themselves to the UK, they can move internationally with their Courier service is based in central London that delivers if personalized service. They also offer a storage spaces around the entirety of the UK.

Deutsche Post

Visual of DHL

Part of Deutsche Post de HL group and the leading Postal Service in Europe. They employ approximatively 510,000 employees and that over 220 countries worldwide. The estimated brand value is $4.2 billion.

CN

Visual of CN

Having approximatively 24,000 railroads and transports with a bit more than 250 billion dollars’ worth of goods a year for a variety of business sectors, from resource products to consumer goods to manufactured products, across a real network of around 20,000 route miles ranging from Canada to mid-America. CN has a value of 4.4 billion dollars and is a Canada based transportation company.

Clipper logistics

Visual of Clipper logistics

Ever since 1992, this UK logistics company has been a leader in the retail logistics sector, operating in more than 40 sites in Europe and the UK. They have a workforce of +35,00. Clipper works with the big names over Europe in retail such as Asos, Wilko, John Lewis and Asda. They are, Clipper, known consultative way to retails logistics, consistent in their evolution to meet rapid pace of variety through collaborative and innovational process. Something you might not know, Clipper has won a number of awards thanks to its multichannel solutions.

Clipper also has a wider range of added value support and marketing services to help their customers through secondary businesses, which include face to face sampling and promotion, home shopping fulfilment, leaflet placement, print, direct and mailing deliveries to major corporations, train operations, cruise ships and airlines. Heavily putting an emphasis on the customer.

Turners

80 years ago, in 1930 come up two brothers Wallace and frank Turner with their first vehicle started delivering loads from their father’s farm in Soham, Cambridgeshire. This is the story of Turners, which is now grown to be one of the largest and most prevalent privately-owned transport company in the United Kingdom. It operates over 1000 plus vehicles from 32 sites and have 3000 people working for them.

They also have specialist operations. Those include food products both liquid and dry, container logistics, fuel distribution, fruit produce picking, packing, distribution and storage, frozen and chilled storage and added value services and bulk building powder products. Operating a fleet that travels through the UK and mainland Europe, Turner’s reputation for providing professional and innovative supply chain solutions is not only based on extensive technical knowledge but also on logistic experience.

Union Pacific

Visual of Union Pacific

They are a freight hauling railroad. Union Pacific operates 8500 locomotives that have 43 different models and operate over 32,100 route miles which is extensive. Starting back in 1862 when it was still called Union Pacific Railroad, it is now a company run by Lance M. Fritz and has an estimated value of 7.8 billion dollars.

DHL

Visual of DHL

Not knowing DHL in this day and age is near impossible. It is one of the most recognizable logistic brands around the world specializing in courier services, career service, road and rail transportation, worldwide shipping, air and ocean freight, express mail services and contact logistics and worldwide parcel. Founded in 1969, its influence doesn’t limit in the US but around the whole globe and also in the UK. They have a current value of $10.7 billion.

UPS

Visual of UPS

This American multinational package delivery company, UPS stance for United Parcel Service, provides supply chain management solutions. A freight-based trucking operation, cargo airline and retail based packaging and shipping centres are included in their services. It employs around 444 thousand people with 240,000 drivers that ship package is worldwide delivering in more than 220 countries. Their brand value is estimated to be $22 billion and their current CEO is David P. Abney.

Agility

Visual of Agility

The story of Agility is of a company that started as a local warehousing provider in Kuwait and grew so much that it became the largest logistics company in the Middle East. Having more than 40 logistics brands around the globe, the process of acquiring them went through the mid 1800s. Being one of the largest integrated logistics provider in the world, agility is also the largest private owner and developer of industrial real estate in the Middle East and North Africa.

GAC UK

Visual of GAC UK

GAC UK It’s part of the global GAC group, a privately owned company. It was founded in 1956 and has over 9000 people working for them at more than 300 offices in 50 countries around the world. This company has over 200 experts across more than 20 physical offices covering all of the UK, Gibraltar and Ireland. The right range of integrated shipping marine services and logistics are delivered by them to the energy and shipping industries. Other services they also specialize in are sports and events, leisure, automotive and aviation providing complex and time crucial logistics solutions.

Palletways

Visual of Palletways

Europe’s biggest provider of express palletised distribution services, Palletways strategically positioned network of depots and hub operations are unrivalled in their manner of connecting businesses to the whole of Europe. Together with 17 hubs in 20 countries and a network that compromises well over 400 depots across Europe that are owned and operated by independent logistic companies, they combine their resources to deliver goods in there more efficient, cost-effective and fast way possible.

R&D is there a key to success, development of core ID systems, customers and members have total control of their supply chain. And that is from collection all the way to delivery. In their most recent technological development, they have included archway vehicle scanning, real-time information and an online booking system. All this for an easier and more convenient way to access their services.

CSX

Visual of CSX

A rail freight company based in Jacksonville, Florida. The current value of the brand is $4 billion. it has a railroad of around 21 thousand route miles of tracks. This big rail freight company was formed thanks to a fusion of other real companies which include Seaboard Coastline Industries and Chessie system. The fusion happened in 1981.

Poste italiane

Visual of Poste Italiane

This particular business acquired another business named UniCredit MedioCredito Centrale in 2011 for 136 million euros. Followed in 2016, approved by the Italian government, the seals of steaks of up to 40% in the company. Poste Italiane Is not only a Postal Service provider they also provide several other services like postal savings, logistics, communication and financial services. Matteo Del Fante is the CEO and the managing director. The brand is estimated to have a value of $4.8 billion.

Menzies Distribution

Visual of Menzies Distribution

A time-critical multichannel logistics business, Menzies distribution has grown from a print media distribution to what it is today. They have an established network of warehouses and hubs around the world and to complement this they also have a fleet of 1900 vehicles and a staff of 3500 that helped the business in different ways to move goods from destination A to destination B. On a daily basis, they deliver 300,000 units of products to two 25,000 plus individual destinations, covering an area of approximately 123,000 miles.

Logistics companies in CONNECTS

CONNECTS is a business matchmaking platform that allows you to connect with other companies and Chambers of Commerce worldwide. If we’re looking at the UK specifically, you can contact logistics companies via major Chambers of Commerce that are members of the platform connects. These chambers being: 

Their moderators will guide you and show you how to get in touch with these logistic companies. You can send them a message directly to ask your questions. This is only possible if you are a member of the business matchmaking platform CONNECTS.

Other than that, through the platform, you can also get in immediate touch with external logistic companies in the UK. Via OpenCorporates you can reach more than 150,000 logistic companies in the UK and via Kompass, you can reach over 40,000 Logistics companies in the UK.

Are you an entrepreneur wanting to discover and develop new opportunities, both locally and internationally? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform and start your free trial.

Already a member of a participating chamber? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google Maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

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