From being the expert source of regional data, to working with the World Economic Forum on moving goods in a digitally connected world, to helping global businesses improve their supply chains, the Logistics Institute at the University of Hull is establishing an international reputation as a ‘turn to’ partner of choice and credibility.

The £20million state-of-the-art institute was the first of its kind in the North of England when it was opened in 2005 to help businesses with logistics and supply chain needs. Its proximity to the Humber ports – the biggest in the UK in terms of tonnage and the fourth biggest in Europe – was a key driver.

In its first two years the Logistics Institute helped 530 businesses create more than 160 new jobs and increase sales by £55 million per year. The emphasis is on the development of innovations and skills for supporting sustainable trade through better supply chains and logistics.

The Logistics Institute at Hull attracted worldwide attention and in the past 12 months:

  • Collaborated with the World Economic Forum to anticipate the needs of global supply chains as implementation of the Internet of Things gathers pace;
  • Worked with Universiapolis, the International University of Agadir in Morocco;
  • Presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech;
  • Developed an innovative MSc degree in Ports Management that will launch in Hull and then offered on three campuses around the world: Africa, Asia and North America;
  • Entered into a research partnership with Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation and Research Center;
  • Worked with Siemens in Morocco to evaluate the economic impact of their investment and strategy in renewable energy.

“It has been an exciting year and we have grown so fast. But the future is even more exciting as we enter a new era of digital and physical super connectivity coupled with disruptive technology. These developments, together with Brexit and a new world order, will put tremendous strain on traditional supply chains as they seek to evolve and adapt. This presents new opportunities for those working in this area.”  Professor Amar Ramudhin, Institute Director

The latter point replicates a study well under way in the UK to assess the broader economic impact of Siemens’ investment in their new global offshore wind turbine facility at Green Port Hull. The Institute is leading on two major Innovate UK projects, worth a combined £5 million, with leading UK businesses including Unilever, Nestle, P&O, Peel Ports, Associated British Ports, Stena and D B Schenker as well as the National Physical Laboratory, Transport Systems Catapult, Satellite Applications Catapult and the Freight Transport Association among others.

One is focused on developing solutions for synchronized multi-modal (shipping, ports, road and rail) transport systems while the other is working with major businesses and the ports in Liverpool and Humber to investigate the rebalancing of trade flows and reliance on the southern ports.

The Logistics Institute has amply demonstrated the dynamic role universities can play in helping business innovation, driving regional economies and providing the thought leadership and innovation to influence investment decisions around the world.