Heathrow imports expected to be up 30% ahead of Christmas

Heathrow-based CFL said it expects its imports in the run up to Christmas to be up almost one third compared to last year, adding that India is an increasingly important source of express shipments into the UK.

According to the UK’s Department for Business and Trade, total imports from India amounted to £22.3b in the four quarters to the end of Q2, 2023 – an increase of almost 24 per cent compared to the same four quarters last year.

Matthew Ware, CEO of CFL, said: “Indian express import volumes have grown by around 30 per cent year-on-year, and show no signs of slowing down. India is becoming one of the most important import markets for the UK and we are uniquely well placed to meet this growing demand.

“Structurally, there are a number of well established businesses in India that provide innovative express logistics solutions.”

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the value of goods imported into the UK increased by £2b (4.2 per cent) in May 2023, rising a further £0.8 billion (1.7 per cent) in August. The increases were from both EU and non-EU countries.

The Business Research Company recently published that the global express delivery market is expected to grow from $277.04b in 2022, to $303.84b in 2023, a compound annual growth rate of 9.7 per cent, as consumers around the world are increasingly demanding faster delivery services.

Ware added: “This anticipated boost in pre-Christmas imports has led to us adapt our working practices and invest in new IT systems, in order to maintain our best-in-class delivery times.

“…We have prepared well in advance for handling these higher volumes. As business surges, and Christmas gets ever closer, our partners need to know they can still collect and deliver at our usual speed.”

As well as a surge in imports, the approach of Christmas is driving up anticipated December export volumes, which CFL expects to be around 50 per cent higher than the rest of the year.

CFL said the strength of the pound, currently at its highest level against the US dollar for 15 months, is a significant factor.

The express courier has dedicated collection and drop-off bays that allow customers to collect their shipments from only 60 minutes after a flight arrives, and drop off from 90 minutes before flight departures.

Customers can drop off and collect from multiple airlines, making CFL the fastest and most efficient way to receive or send shipments through Heathrow.

The company is owned by some of the best-known names in the logistics and airlines business, including Fed Ex, DHL, UPS and Virgin, and operates the UK’s only dedicated multi-user express handling facility.