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LISW: our ports are essential to international shipping and the UK economy

The British Ports Association (BPA) has welcomed the start of this year’s London International Shipping Week (LISW) and reinforced the critical role that ports play in enabling the UK to access international markets.

As the international shipping community descends on London, the BPA as the voice of the UK ports sector, has issued a rallying call to policy makers and industry partners. It suggests that the ports industry wants to see the right conditions at our international gateways to encourage more trade, further investment and a boost to maritime activities all around the UK.

Commenting Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, which represents ports that collectively facilitate 86% of the UK’s seaborne trade, said;

“Our ports are the UK’s gateways to global markets and should not be overlooked. If policy makers want to grow trade and encourage all types future maritime opportunities such as offshore wind and cruise, they must look to create the right conditions for ports to flourish.

The ports sector handles 95% of the UK’s imports and exports which underlines the significance of both the connectivity they provide as well their value to national and regional economies. Indeed the 125,000 jobs that UK ports provide are intrinsically linked to international shipping.

Whilst the ports sector is keeping the UK supplied and open for business we do have some asks to help our sector operate and grow. These surround improvements to planning and consenting regimes, pragmatic environmental conservation strategies, the next phase of an ambitious and more inclusive Freeports strategy, progress on green infrastructure development, borders policies that factor in what ports need, better transport and energy connectivity and a regulatory review to keep the UK competitive. It’s easy to overlook these issues as the ports sector is notorious for getting on with the job at hand and keeping its head down.

Our key message at this year’s LISW is therefore clear, let’s not underestimate or ignore the vital role that ports play in facilitating international shipping in the UK.”

LISW is a major event held in London every two years, offering over 200 industry functions and unique networking opportunities for leaders across all sectors of the international maritime industry.

It welcomes all types from all across the maritime community including port authorities and operators, port service providers, regulators, charterers, ship owners, ship managers, bunker suppliers, lawyers, ship brokers, investors, insurance specialists, commodity traders and brokers, ship suppliers, shipping service providers and many more.

As well as being one of the LISW organising partners, this week the BPA is hosting and involved in a number of events with industry representatives and partners. These cover ports and the sustainability agenda, greening towage, coastal shipping and trade, and a showpiece reception at the top of the BT Tower in central London.

The LISW event calendar is here.