20 November 2020
A joint venture between the British Ports Association and UK Major Ports Group.
Today the British Ports Association (BPA) and the UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) have launched UK Ports. The handbook is designed to highlight the essential role the UK ports industry plays to support the economic health of the country, as well as celebrate its achievements in promoting social and ecological advancements. 95% of the UK’s physical trade with the rest of the world arrives or leaves via a port, including food, medicines, cars, and energy. This is in addition to important maritime industries like cruise, leisure, green energy and fishing that rely on ports and act as lynchpins for coastal communities.
This trade is worth £46 billion to the UK economy and provides jobs for approximately 115,000 people, with more than seven times that number of jobs in wider supply chains and regions depending on each direct job. This boosts communities and encourages local investment in our 11,000-mile coastline. UK ports have proven highly adaptable and resilient in the face of a global uncertainty and this publication aims to prove why any strategy to ‘level up’ the British economy must include the ports sector.
The BPA’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne, comments:
“This publication is our way of communicating the instrumental role ports play in the UK’s economy to policy makers, politicians and wider stakeholders. It is vital that ports, as gateways to global trade, be supported in these changing times.”
In recent months, the ports sector has experienced a series of challenges in the form of Brexit and Covid-19. Port operators have balanced keeping their employees safe with keeping trade moving and have done so in a spirit of ingenuity and determination.
However, Government has a role to play in the continued economic and social success of the industry. This is a view echoed by Tim Morris, Chief Executive of UKMPG:
“Despite the combined uncertainty of Covid-19 and the UK’s departure from the EU, the UK’s port sector is determined to continue to grow the huge contribution it makes to the UK, as shown in UK Ports. To maximise the sectors potential, Government must play its part too by ensuring a supportive policy and regulatory environment for ports to operate within.”
The ports sector is also leading the drive for a NetZero United Kingdom by 2050, with several operators adopting policies to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and waste plastics. This handbook wishes to promote this side of the ports industry and how it can play a key role in Government decarbonisation plans. It is significantly better for the environment to transport goods via water than land or air, with the carbon emissions of freight shipping approximately nine times lower than lorry cargo. Ports are encouraging this by installing sustainable energy facilities, funding alternative fuels and implementing habitat protection programs.
The BPA and UKMPG will continue to support and advise their members, and to communicate their needs and priorities to Government. Both organisations strongly believe that a healthy sector, with the full support of the Government, will benefit both the economy and ecology of the UK. The publication will be circulated to every member of parliament in the UK and devolved nations, as well as several key stakeholders. Physical copies can be ordered by clicking here or viewed online by clicking the links below.