Many of us take for granted the products we use on an everyday basis. Have you ever stopped to think how your Weetabix gets to your bowl in the morning, for example, or how the shoes you are wearing got from where they were made to the shops you bought them in?
Everything in our homes, offices, gyms and shops has come from somewhere and the majority of this 'stuff' (from furniture to fruit and veg) will have been delivered by road freight at some point. While we might not think twice about the lorries we see on the road, they actually have a crucial role to play in keeping the UK and global economy going.
The sector also supports thousands of people - one in twelve people in the UK work in the logistics sector and they're not just truckers. The sector employs a wide variety of expertise from R&D to health & safety and marketing.
If you closed your eyes, took a pin and stuck it into the middle of a map of the UK, the chances are you'd land somewhere around Northamptonshire. Ninety-five per cent of the UK's population live within a four hour drive time of the county and its location is at the heart of the UK and the centre of the 'Golden Triangle' - an important motorway network made up of the M42, M1 and M6.
As a result, much of the UK's freight is likely to pass through Northamptonshire at some point on its journey - so your desk, computer, bed and sofa are very likely to have passed through the county on their way to you. As well as helping us get all the items we need, the logistics industry has a significant impact on the UK economy, as it is worth £55bn or 5 per cent of the UK GDP. What's more, the sector is growing, with a recent research report http://www.northamptonshireep.co.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/The Logistics and Transport Sector Report July 2012.pdf revealing a 10 per cent growth in people working in the industry in Northamptonshire, which is set to double in the next decade.
Our logistics industry is very important on a European scale, Northamptonshire is home to a number of key European access routes, like the Euroroute E30 - a key road that stretches from Ireland to Russia. It is not just the roads that are important to the logistics industry, rail freight is increasingly key, with the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal also located in the area. Therefore not only does the UK's logistics network deliver items to you, it's also crucial for our European and worldwide neighbours.
Over the past year, we have seen significant investments in transport infrastructure in the run up to the Olympics, but it's not all plain sailing. A recent report, by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, found improvements need to be made to key infrastructure, as well as promoting careers in the sector that will be available to the future workforce.
These developments are vital, not only to the economic prosperity of the UK, but also to keep Britain moving and help the logistics industry do such a great job in delivering nearly everything we use on a daily basis. Let's keep on trucking!