About Mode Shift Centre

The Mode Shift Centre is a free service offered to industry to help potential users of rail and water freight make use of the full possibilities of those modes. It is managed by the UK's pan-modal logistics association, the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

Many major shippers (the owners of goods such as supermarkets or manufacturers) are already making use of rail and water. But smaller shippers, hauliers and forwarders may not yet be making full use of the potential benefits.

The Government's Freight Modal Choice project identified that a lack of awareness and familiarity with alternatives to road was a part of the reason for this. Consequently the Department for Transport asked the FTA to lead on developing a tool to enhance understanding across the whole of the logistics industry, free from commercially vested interests.

It is in response to this that the Centre has been developed as a resource to help those unfamiliar with these alternative modes to gain a first understanding.  It seeks to provide information about:

  • the benefits of rail and water freight
  • the parameters for successful use
  • how to explore options further

The Centre’s service includes the ability to offer advice on the potential for a company’s goods to utilise rail or water. It combines with the existing and continuing Freight by Water service, which FTA also manages.