Greater Manchester releases its strategy to improve urban freight distribution

The vision for freight in GM is that a significant proportion of medium and long distance flows will be transported to and from the city region by rail or water, for storage in warehouses within GM; and that urban deliveries and collections will be by low emission vehicles. The high level objective is to support and encourage economic growth whilst reducing the negative impact of such on the environment and population.

The GM Freight and Logistics Strategy has been developed in consultation with a broad range of industry actors and stakeholders from both public and private sector organisations. Engagement has taken place through a series of individual meetings, workshops, forums and formal consultation, designed to obtain input regarding the philosophy for the strategy as well as the package of interventions.


The Greater Manchester approach

The strategy incorporates a balanced package of interventions which seeks to encourage the industry to change their behaviour for the common good.

Criteria for the selection of interventions were based on the level to which they achieve the following:

  • reduce externalities;
  • increase the economic efficiency of the freight and logistics industry and/or increase economic activity within GM;
  • move GM closer to achieving the vision for freight and logistics.

The strategy has five key areas of focus, each with a primary intervention and a supporting package of interventions:

  • Strategy and Engagement – engagement with the industry, Local Authorities and other partner bodies; review of policies, strategies and new technologies; development of the evidence base;
  • Safety and Regulation – accreditation schemes; review of restrictions and regulation; education, training and provision of information;
  • Operational Activity – culture and behaviour change targeting procurers, planning and highways teams, facilities managers, logistics companies, freight operating companies and suppliers;
  • Infrastructure – network improvement, sustainable commercial development (Urban Distribution Centres, Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges), working with partners (Highways England, Network Rail);
  • Planning and Research – planning process, work with other city regions, long-term development and mode shift.


Next Steps

The package of interventions set out in the strategy will be implemented jointly, between TfGM and the districts.

Work has commenced to establish the Greater Manchester Freight and Logistics Forum with a launch event planned for 16 September 2016. Anyone interested in finding out more about the forum, can email

A Public sector conference is proposed for October 2016 which will bring together the main stakeholders who are in a position to influence the operations of the industry. The conference will provide an opportunity for exchange of ideas, collaboration and the development of consistent approaches across the conurbation.