Freight Transport Association


Freight Transport Association can trace its roots back to 1889. Following the 1888 Railway and Canal Traffic Act traders were given a right of complaint to the Board of Trade if they felt that railway rates or services were unreasonable. That resulted in an influential group of traders coming together in July 1889 and creating an organisation called the Mansion House Association on Railway Rates. Amongst its first members were Mr J J Colman of Reckitt & Colman, and a Mr Thomas Blackwell of Crosse and Blackwell.

The arrival of the internal combustion engine led to the formation in 1904 of the Motor Van and Wagon Users' Association which changed its name to the Commercial Motor Users' Union in 1907.

In 1921 the third and final segment of the FTA was formed - the Traders' Co-ordinating Committee on Transport.

Over the years the work of the Mansion House Association expanded into more road orientated matters and in 1931 it changed its name to Mansion House Association on Transport.

In 1944 the Commercial Motor Users' Association decided that each of its constituent sectors needed its own identity and was reformed into three organisations.

The own-account sector became the Traders' Road Transport Association.

In 1964 the Mansion House Association changed its name to the National Traders' Traffic Association and finally, in 1969, the three groups - the Traders' Road Transport Association, the Traders' Traffic Association and the Traders' Co-ordinating Committee - joined together to become Freight Transport Association.

In 1979 the group was further strengthened when the British Shippers' Council became a part of FTA.

In the twenty-first century FTA is one of the largest trade associations in the UK representing the transport interests of some 12,000 companies.

FTA members operate over 200,000 lorries and around one million light vans; they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail; and they are responsible for over 70 per cent of UK visible exports by sea and air