Port Connectivity: How it Helps Business Growth
The study of England’s port connectivity will help influence funding, policy and planning decisions by highlighting the importance of England’s harbors and their global trade links. It also shows how ports can flourish by improving connections to inland businesses
Improved road and rail links can provide more effective freight journeys between key economic areas and ports, boosting productivity, lowering costs and giving access to international markets.
“The nation’s ports are crucial to our success, contributing £5.4 billion to our economy,” said Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani. “Shipping is still one of the most efficient way of transporting goods from across the globe. But the journey doesn’t stop at a port. Good connections to distributors and manufacturers are also vital in ensuring that products reach our shelves without delay.”
Better links won’t just boost imports, but will also support British companies that export products across the globe, helping them exploit new international trade opportunities.
As the report makes clear, extensive government investment is already improving port access, unlocking private sector investment and economic growth across the country with £235 million invested between 2014 and 2019 to improve rail links and £23 billion to provide better journeys on England’s roads.
UK ports have over £1.7 billion of new private infrastructure investment in the pipeline and the industry relies on there being good connections onward from the port gate. Ninety-five percent of UK trade moves by sea and so ensuring that trading gateways are connected is critical to the ongoing health of the economy.
The report offers a series of recommendations for government and industry on how to raise the profile of shipping, encourage closer collaboration on freight, and improve information-sharing. This will deliver an ambitious vision for the long term future of port connectivity, linking in with the government’s long term strategy, Maritime 2050.
“UK Major Ports Group members invest more than half a billion pounds a year in UK ports and infrastructure,” said James Cooper, chairman of the UK Major Ports Group, “but for the UK to maximize the value of this investment for the nation these ports need to be well connected to the rest of the economy.”
As the UK nears Brexit, it’s vital that there is a focus on ensuring that the UK has the right infrastructure to enable trade. The study recognizes the need to take a multimodal approach to key trade-enabling freight corridors anchored on major ports.
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