UK Ports looking at new business opportunities post pandemic

The British Ports Association has today published a toolkit for ports and maritime businesses to maximise their commercial opportunities and consider new marketing tactics.

Within the last 18 months, Brexit and Covid-19 successive lock-downs have challenged in many ways the Ports & Maritime sector. In addition, decarbonisation, automation and digitalisation trends are transforming the business landscape and customer behaviours and requirements, faster than expected.

The BPA, which represents a range of ports and harbours that collectively handle more than 86% of maritime activity in the UK as well as an array of other businesses, is keen to help ports navigate this new landscape successfully, ensuring that they can continue to grow and develop. The Association is therefore working with independent port consultant Zeina Sawaya-Melville to encourage ports to revisit their approaches to business development, marketing and customer care.

Commenting on the toolkit, author Zeina Sawaya-Melville said:

”Ports are today facing a new world and new challenges. Brexit is fast-changing trading relationships. The pandemic has accelerated the 4th industrial revolution. UK ports and maritime operators are at a business crossroads. It is critical for operators across the maritime sector to consider if their strategy is still fit for purpose.

We can already see some ports pro-actively adapting and investing as there are certainly some exciting business opportunities to be seized.

The Toolkit provides guidance on what to do when re-thinking a port commercial strategy, from assessing the current commercial approach, to planning the execution, to monetising through marketing and customer care.

I truly hope that the toolkit will stimulate fresh thinking where needed.”

The ‘Seeking Opportunities in Troubled Waters’ commercial and marketing toolkit is designed with ports and maritime operators, of all type and size, in mind.

Click here to read the report

Alongside the toolkit the British Ports Association is also organising a commercial and marketing stratgies workshop for ports and maritime operators, led by Zeina Sawaya-Melville, to discuss this area of their business. This takes place on 18 June 2021 10:30 - 12:30 and you can register to attend here.

The British Ports Association Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne, suggested:

”Ports are our gateways to the world but also have other local business interests. The coronavirus pandemic has hit the economy but we think there could be opportunities for a post-pandemic bounce so this project is designed to enable ports to look at what possibilities there might be as well as how to improve their existing business management practices.”