Transportation and Storage sector surges as online retail grows

The growth of online retail has driven a significant increase in the number of companies in the Transportation and Storage sector since 2013, Paragon Bank analysis has revealed.

Analysis of Companies House data*1 shows there has been a 155% increase in businesses registered in that sector since 2013, the second highest growth sector of the period. In total, 163,783 Transportation and Storage companies were registered in the 2019/20 financial year, according to the statistics.

The growth of this sector aligns with a significant increase in online retail over the same period. Government figures*2 show that online sales represented 10.5% of total retail sales in January 2013, increasing to 36.3% by January 2021.  

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code section description

2013-  14

2019-20

% Difference

Public administration and defence; compulsory social security                                                    

3,201

9,381

193%

Transportation and Storage

64,277

163,783

155%

Real estate activities

189,438

427,561

126%

Accommodation and food service activities

105,973

229,933

117%

Human health and social work activities

100,969

204,218

102%

Financial and insurance activities

83,019

166,646

101%

Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

8,197

16,422

100%

Education

60,473

111,888

85%

Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles

305,190

553,854

81%

Construction 

295,273

531,369

80%

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Companies House top ten growth sectors 2013-2020
 

The number of companies registered in the sector is likely to grow further in the current financial year on the back of surging online retail sales following the first lockdown in March last year. This continues to create huge demand for more delivery firms and SMMT figures*3 showed a 25% increase in the number of 2.5 tonne to 3.5 tonne vans – popular with delivery firms – registered in the year to January 2021.

Figures released by Auto Trader*4 last year, showed that the average prices of used commercial vehicles surged by 10% following the onset of Covid-19. When showrooms reopened after the initial lockdown, demand for commercial vehicles soared, with the number of unique users visiting Auto Trader Vans marketplace increasing by 79% on the pre-pandemic levels.

Dale Trenam, Head of Transport Finance at Paragon Bank, said: “The way we shop is driving significant changes in the Transportation and Storage sector, fuelling demand for distribution warehouses and increasing the number of self-employed courier businesses. It is estimated that every £1 billion of additional online retail spend requires approximately 1.36million sq ft of warehouse space. With UK online sales forecast to rise by up to £67 billion over the next five years, we could see e-commerce drive additional requirements of 92 million sq ft and that creates opportunities for more deliver businesses also.

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“Keeping the UK moving is more important in the current climate than ever and we have seen the transport sector step up hugely, from increased and socially distanced school transport, to supporting the Covid-19 vaccine roll out. During 2021 we can expect to see further changes for the sector through improvements to the UK’s road infrastructure and the movements towards more sustainable vehicles.”

For further information contact:

Amy Lange
Media Relations Manager
Paragon Bank
Tel: 0121 712 2526


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