Iceni launches its 2022 logistics research findings: its still all about power, people, planet and planning

12 Oct 22

In 2021 Iceni spoke to a range of senior executives in the logistics industry to look under the bonnet and take a poll on future trends.


Under the bonnet of logistics in 2022. The sector is under more pressure than ever and is working hard to deliver.

In 2021 Iceni spoke to a range of senior executives in the logistics industry to look under the bonnet and take a poll on future trends. We thought it was a worthwhile exercise – so we have done it again for 2022. Read the insights from our full 2022 report here.

We’ve provided a summary of the key messages. As well as looking at issues around power, decarbonisation and social value, this year there has been a particular focus on the challenges around planning in London and the appeal cases in the regions.

In London there are concerns about co-location and Class E permissions diluting stock, meanwhile stacked facilities appear to be an ever closer reality but may need public sector support. Land remains extremely scarce, driving rents up and pushing business further out, increasing vehicle journey times. Practical responses are required from authorities and the GLA which may involve MOL and Green Belt release if town centres are not to be re-purposed for distribution hubs.

Across the country increasingly Local Plans are stalling or being abandoned. The industry prefers certainty but without allocations and up to date evidence we are seeing more Very Special Circumstances cases (VCS) coming forward. The case needs to be made for why not building further distribution space in advance of local plans will damage the UK economy and result in consumer supply side shortages. Further, the case needs to be made for why the climate emergency should have primacy over development plans.

Power remains a critical issue but access is increasingly difficult and impossible in some places. Planning ahead for infrastructure is essential.

The sector is leading the way in sustainable development with many developers – but not all – exceeding government requirements and future proofing development. Transition in deliveries is also happening with a surge in electric vehicles and commitments to more of them.

The sector skills profile is changing with a greater need for technicians and IT specialists to support more advanced systems. At the same time labour is in short supply. In the South East, businesses are questioning whether the labour supply exists to occupy the jobs that the industry is seeking to create.

The sector delivers significant social value through a wide range of interventions to support local communities across the country. However, there remains a knowledge gap in communities understanding the benefits of the logistics industry, and where social value investment is derived.

Iceni has been involved in a range of cutting edge logistics developments this year, as well as public sector research and evidence. If you want to find out more about any of the topics above or talk to us about your own project then do get in touch.