British Ports Association to continue championing coastal shipping

The British Ports Association (BPA) is holding its annual Coastal Shipping Seminar later this summer to continue promoting opportunities for UK ports, shipping operators and cargo owners. In comparison with other transport modes, shipping is an efficient and environmentally sustainable option but often cargo owners are not always fully aware of coastal shipping transport options. However by utilising the UK’s diverse network of ports, coastal shipping has the potential to ease congestion, overcome environmental pressures and haulage driver shortages and also improve connectivity between regions. Last year the BPA hosted its inaugural coastal shipping event which attracted a range of representatives from the bulk and container shipping sectors and a repeat one day event is now planned for Thursday 12 September in London.

Commenting on the importance of coastal shipping and moving freight within the UK by sea, as well as what will be discussed at the seminar, Sara Walsh, the BPA’s Corporate Services Manager said:

“We are aware of the importance of existing coastal shipping routes and possible new markets which would help to sustain trade between regions around the UK. As mentioned in the Department for Transport’s Port Connectivity Study, coastal shipping is a potentially underused domestic freight mode. Waterborne freight transport can also provide environmental benefits and can reduce road congestion as well, which could play a major role in helping the UK reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which is particularly pertinent in the current policy climate.

We held our first coastal shipping event in November last year and look forward to continuing to provide a platform for individual ports to outline what they have been doing to develop their offer, and for shipping companies and freight operators to discuss their business needs and aims. There is growing interest in the sector, both from freight operators but also from policy makers, and what emerged last year is how vibrant the short sea dry bulks and container sectors are in and around the UK.”

90% of the UK population lives within 30 miles of the coast, and no part of the UK is more than 70 miles from it. One of the recommendations of the Department for Transport’s 2017 Port Connectivity Study was for the DfT Maritime Modal Connectivity Team to work with industry to better understand the barriers, challenges and market opportunities of coastal shipping and inland waterways within the current freight landscape. Aside from liquid bulks, hinterland coastal shipping and container markets are on the rise.

The event will be held at 10:00 to 16:00 on Thursday 12 September at 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ. The seminar is free for BPA members to attend, for non BPA members there will be a cost of £75 +VAT. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

For further information about the event and to register please email info@britishpprts.org.uk or call 020 7260 1780.