Great people and products are not enough by themselves. You have to be able to shift them. Which is another of Wales’ competitive advantages: multi-modal transport links that are the envy of Europe.
Decades of extra investment
For generations, Wales has benefited disproportionately from UK and EU transport infrastructure investment. And since the advent of Wales’ own Government in 1999, that focus has intensified. Total direct public expenditure on transport infrastructure stands at nearly three quarters of a billion pounds a year, in a sector which now contributes more than £2.5 billion annually to the Welsh economy. Cash which not only pays broad economic dividends, but specifically pump-primes the Welsh logistics industry.
Consistent sector growth
Over 100 million tonnes of freight (“goods lifted”) are transported in Wales each year, and 13 billion tonne kilometres of “goods moved” (the “transport” element of the business, as opposed to the “freight”).
Since 1990, the proportion of freight coming through Wales from the rest of the UK has risen by 7%; while the international proportion of Welsh freight has risen by 43%.
Diverse operators in passenger market
On the passenger side, the rail and bus networks are operated by a diverse range of local, national and international players: First Great Western, Arriva (Deutsche Bahn) and CrossCountry (Deutsche Bahn) in the rail sector; Stagecoach, First Cymru, Crossgates and TrawsCambria on the bus networks.
Cardiff international airport now serves more than 1 million passengers a year, with some Welsh air freight coming mainly out of the Airbus wing facility at Broughton.
Superb multi-modal connectivity
There is excellent, fast motorway access to the south Wales innovation corridor and outstanding trunk road connections between north and south, and all point east.
The Welsh rail freight business has grown for more than a decade and continues to do so.
Most international freight still leaves the UK by sea, though, and Wales has 10% of that port traffic, 80% of Welsh throughput coming through Milford Haven, Port Talbot and Holyhead.
Logistics is a profitable business in Wales, and one which is growing. World class connectivity to an economy people want to do business with.