UK Major Ports Group: Strong Ports more vital than ever for the UK

UK Major Ports Group: Strong Ports more vital than ever for the UK

New research has outlined the five key characteristics of the ‘Strong Ports’ that the UK will need to thrive and ensure safe and sustainable operations post-Brexit.

Maritime industry experts Drewry has identified the following as key factors to make a port resilient and robust through all weathers: productivity and efficiency, an active role in supply chains, logistics zones, digital platforms and hinterland connectivity.

Tim Morris, CEO of the UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG), said: “As an island nation with 95% of the UK trade arriving or departing by sea, we have always relied on our ports. Brexit and uncertain times make Strong Ports more vital than ever for the UK. “

The success of any port will remain underpinned by the competitiveness it offers to customers both on water and inland, playing a vital role in creating and realising shared value as proactive links in broader supply chains as a whole.

Additionally, port-centric logistics can have both economic and environmental benefits although the right planning processes have to be in place to maximise the potential of these models.

Digital platforms can help realise major value through providing better visibility and increased supply chain efficiency and the modern port is increasingly becoming a gateway for data as well as goods.

In 2017, the value of the UK’s ports to the economy was £9.7bn (US$11.9bn) but this value and maximising the growth ambitions of the UK’s port operators largely depends on how well ports are connected to the major inland and economic population centres.

While many of these factors can be delivered by port operators themselves, UKMPG has stated that many can only be fully delivered through partnership with others – customers, supply chain partners and governments at all levels.

Morris said: “Delivering Strong Ports requires action from both ports and the government. The ports are ready to play their part.

“We look forward to working with the government to do more, boosting the UK’s capability to trade and jobs and prosperity in the UK’s coastal communities.”

UKMPG is set to host a roundtable on Tuesday September 10 for port CEOs, the UK’s maritime minister, Chinese government representative, major infrastructure investors, global traders and academics to discuss how Strong Ports can be delivered.