Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Young Professionals Conference 2017
9 March 2017

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Young Professionals Conference 2017


Young professionals from the transport and logistics sector across the UK descended on Edinburgh for the 15th annual CILT Young Professionals Conference. With new advancements in the industry such as Uber, intelligent routeing, mobility as a service and further exciting changes on the horizon the conference highlighted the key messages arising in the sector.

Tom Rye of the Transport Research Institute provided an informative presentation on the outlook of transport in Scotland, using the conference is an opportunity to reflect upon and review the consultation for the new Scottish Transport Strategy. Tom argued that transport should look to improve journey times, quality, accessibility, affordability and decrease congestion all whilst reducing carbon emissions. In addition, he suggested that the increasing reliability is perhaps more important than cutting journey times.

Chris Yiu, General Manager for Uber in Scotland, provided a revealing overview of Uber’s exponentially growing service. He described how analysis of Uber’s data showed that many users of the service see it as a last-mile modal choice. The scale and efficiency of Uber’s operation was underlined by statistics showing that New Year’s Eve 2017 had seen 15 million Uber trips worldwide with an average wait time of only four minutes. He shared how Uber’s passengers and drivers are rated which helps improve the environment for all on the platform. Chris demonstrated how the company’s technology can match riders to encourage trip sharing, as well as forecasting that self-driving autonomous cars could potentially remove 90% of cars from the city!

Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Minister for Transport and the Islands delivered an upbeat and open keynote speech. He stated that “integrated transport is what we want, but we don’t have it yet, by any stretch of the imagination”. In addition, Humza discussed low emissions zones as an “exciting project”, before culminating his keynote speech by stating his belief that investment in infrastructure stimulates the economy.

The day gave a focused view on where transport and logistics are headed in the future, with its culmination in a Q&A with the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, providing an excellent way to collate thoughts and questions. The minister was conversational with the already well engaged delegates which provided for a stimulating and topical discussion.

The conference showed the value of knowledge sharing and illustrated that the industry is upbeat and positive in reacting to major challenges such as Brexit, air quality and new technology.

Matthew Jackson, Tuesday 7th March 2017.

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