Port Connectivity Review

Launched in 2020, the BPA conducted has a UK-wide Review of Port Connectivity. During the Review, the BPA examined the vital infrastructure upgrades needed to enhance surface access, digital connectivity, energy capacity and related needs for ports.

Ports are responsible for their own infrastructure but they do rely upon publicly managed and funded infrastructure, for example, road and rail links and energy and digital networks. For the duration of the review, the BPA worked with ports and multiple stakeholders and industry experts to consider the barriers, solutions and opportunities of all aspects of port connectivity.

Several reports have been produced in relation to the review, which can be accessed below.

I Have a Bridge to Sell You: Making The Case for Port Connectivity

The report; I Have a Bridge to Sell You: Making The Case for Port Connectivity, brings together an expert-led technical evaluation of the Government’s plans for a GB-NI fixed-link, with the BPA’s proposals for a Comprehensive Port Connectivity Programme. The report highlights how for a fraction of the funding, significant return on investment can be harnessed by the Exchequer by investing in more productive infrastructure.

Inspired by the DfT’s (English) Port Connectivity Study in 2018, the BPA broadened our consideration to all UK ports; annex C within the report details ports’ own submissions of surface access improvements required outside of the port estate.

The main report can be accessed here, while the annex detailing the port proposals can be accessed here.

Gateways for Growth: Backing a Better Connected Britain

The BPA’s policy paper, ‘Gateways for Growth: Backing a Better Connected Britain’, demonstrates that if funding is targeted to address of congestion and bottlenecks around ports, which currently hinder the efficiency of freight journeys, the Government can unlock significant growth in the economy.

This report can be read here.

Mobile Coverage and Deployments in Ports

The BPA also published research into mobile coverage and deployments in ports, undertaken alongside experts in digital connectivity, Telint.

Ports around the world are now increasingly taking advantage of new technology and UK spectrum regulations mean that ports are in a strong position to expand their connectivity. However, this report analyses the state of digital coverage experienced by UK ports and how this can be improved to remain internationally competitive with the ports in Europe and beyond, many of whom are already developing their own innovative 5G networks.

The report provides case studies of three European ports and provides an overall assessment of the mobile data coverage at over 30 UK ports.

This report can be read here.

Reducing Emissions from Shipping in Ports: Examining the Barriers to Shore Power

In 2020, the BPA published research examining the barriers to shore power in UK ports, setting out three proposals to support the industry to meet ambitious emissions reductions targets.

At the time of publication, there were no large scale shore power connections in UK ports, due to the prohibitively high capital costs associated with such projects. The price of electricity in the UK and a general lack of consistent demand also means that there is rarely a commercially viable business case for investing in shore power. Such systems, however, have the potential to significantly reduce emissions from ships at berth. The report identifies three primary barriers and three proposed solutions.

This report can be read here.