The article on logistics in the UK is timely. If our recent experience as a small firm of architects is anything to go by, our German cousins beat us hands down. We needed eight 250 kg L-shaped pre-cast concrete units for a client near the

M25 and found that British suppliers charged significant sums for delivery. One even doubted whether it could reliably send the units with a larger batch going elsewhere, since nobody would remember to load them up when the time came.

By contrast, not only were units sourced from a German manufacturer cheaper than the UK-made ones, the supplier could deliver within three weeks direct from Germany at virtually no cost, evidently as a result of competent logistics.

If Germany can sell concrete to this site, which sits next to cement and sand pits, then no wonder it exported more goods in 2004 than any other country in the world.

Tim Gough, Austin Winkley & Associates