Distribution and Warehousing

Key facts

General UK facts

  • This sector is dominated by small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  Only 1% of organisations employ over 250 people, while 37% of all organisations in the sector are sole traders - where the business is owned and run by one person.
  • It employs 1.7 million people across 194,000 companies. Including those who work in logistics occupations in other sectors, the actual size of the sector is 2.3 million people which equates to 8% of the UK’s workforce.(Skills for Logistics)
  • Some, but by no means all, roles require shift work including evenings, nights and weekends. Depending on the role, travel may be a regular feature both locally, nationally and even internationally and there are still significantly more males than females working within the sector.
  • According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) there is a big demand for younger, replacement employees due to an ageing workforce.
  • Many logistics occupations are also found in other sectors such as Large (heavy) Goods Vehicle (LGV) drivers in retail or construction.

South of England facts

  • 13% of businesses are located in the South East, which includes Oxford, Thames valley and Solent and 7% in the South West (Source: Skills for Logistics 2016).  
  • The logistics sector covers ten subsectors, which together employs around 135,100 people across the South West. This is 5% of the region’s workforce. The main subsectors are wholesale, freight transport by road, storage and warehousing and national postal activities.
  • In addition replacement demand in the South West is expected to be around 59,000 for people who retire, move or change jobs. In total the sector will therefore need to fill 81,000 jobs.
  • Find out detailed information about employment in the West of England 2015 for DISTRIBUTION.


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