Transport has become the fastest growing sector in the North West, with the number of active companies rising by 30 per cent over the past year, according to figures from the insolvency trade body R3.
The figures show that there were more than 4,400 active transport companies in the region in December 2015, an increase of over 1,000 since the same time the previous year.
The other most popular sectors for business start-ups during 2015 were restaurants, pubs and retail.
The number of active restaurant companies in the North West rose by 13 per cent rise to over 4,600, while the number of pub businesses increased by nine per cent to almost 2,100 and numbers of retailers increased by eight per cent to over 15,000.
However, the figures show that these sectors are also some of the most risky – with 31 per cent of transport and retail businesses, 37 per cent of pubs and 38 per cent of restaurants in the region considered at heightened risk of failure in the next 12 months.
Richard Wolff, North West chairman of R3 and head of corporate recovery and insolvency at law firm JMW, said: “The phenomenal growth in the transport sector perhaps reflects the increasing popularity of internet shopping and home deliveries and lower fuel prices but could also be due in part to the ‘Uber effect’ which has brought a wave of new entrants into the taxi market.
“Similarly in the retail market, internet shopping has broken down the barriers to entry to the sector, making it relatively cheap and easy to start an online store, while at the same time bringing greater competition for traditional businesses.
“Meanwhile hospitality is an ever popular choice for start-ups.”