Transport and Distribution

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This industry is known as the ‘logistics’ industry – it manages the flow of goods and other resources, including mail and people, from one place to another.

If you like organising and planning, and want to work in a job that is necessary to the daily needs of customers and keeping business moving, then transport and distribution may be the right career for you.

The transport and storage industry is vital to the UK economy, running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days in the year. It employs nearly 1.8 million people.

What areas can I work in?

You can work in one of five areas.

What kind of companies can I work for?

There are a wide variety of companies to choose from including:

What’s the job market like?

The UK passenger transport and travel industry accounts for 735,000 jobs. The UK rail industry employs more than 190,000 people, while there are some 1,245 bus companies operating in England, Scotland and Wales.

However, there is a shortage of drivers nationwide. Generally the UK travel industry is always going to need staff, with recent estimates that 100,000 people are needed every year, for the next few years. In particular, lorry driver shortages have been highlighted, with around 52,000 vacancies in the UK.

Employment in the UK logistics industry will increase by 6% (155,000) by 2022. Freight forwarding companies employ 138,200 people across some 5,600 workplaces in the UK, accounting for 8% of the logistics UK total.

Reduced numbers of seafarers in the UK in recent years has meant that the Merchant Navy has a continuing demand for officers and cadets. This has stabilised between 2016 and 2017, with a slight increase of ratings by 3%. In 2017 there were an estimated 23,760 seafarers, over half of those officers. Currently there are 1,830 officer cadets in training.

Facts and figures

Want to find out more?

The People1st-run website, Careers that Move, provides information and case studies on working in the transport and travel industries.


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Career Sectors

Air Transport


Rail Transport

Road Transport

Sea Transport