Brexit, which came into force on January 1, became an indicator of the importance of the British port system. A study published later this year by the British Ports Association underscores the importance of port investment. An article by Herve Days Ports and corridors
If Brexit had taken place on the Pass-de-Calais Strait without much of a rift, relations with Ireland would have been much more complicated. According to Irish newspapers, many trucks have refused to board ferries between Welsh ports and Ireland. At the height of the crisis, 20% of trucks were stranded at the port of Holyhead in Wales.
Wrong notes first
Northern Ireland is no longer in Europe, while the 27-star flag is still displayed on the southern side of the island. The Irish Ministry recalled that goods from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland have now become a means of transportation from a third country. For logistics operators, this means performing customs clearance operations.
Development of containerization
Against this background, a new trend is emerging. Links with the United Kingdom may be expanded through containerized traffic from continental Europe. Dunkirk GPM understood this best by creating a containerized line through containers to the east and west coasts of the United Kingdom.
Antwerp relies on containers
The port of Antwerp is also part of this logic. For several months now, the port of Skald has been preparing for the implementation of Brexit. Although it may not be a coastal port that welcomes shipping, the port believes Brexit will have a very small impact on its operations, while Antwerp expects a shift to more container traffic between the UK and the Belgian port.
Invest in connectivity
The British government needs efficient ports for this development. In a study published in the British Ports Association (BPA) in December, various local port authorities called on the government to invest heavily in infrastructure to ensure that traffic flow is maintained. The study is based on a 2018 report prepared by the British Ministry of Transport.
A study of port connectivity
Analyzes the Connectivity 2018 report of UK Ports (English Port Connectivity Study) for Land Network. This study made the government aware of the importance of the British port system. This report makes several recommendations:
Engage in a holistic approach to freight;
Increase data exchange;
Improve short sea shipping;
Deploy ports and government authorities for further cooperation;
Ensure that port connectivity can play an important role.
Several recommendations that share a caution in relation to British ports. In fact, this study is limited to analyzing the condition of ports in England. “The British Port Association wants to extend this port connectivity study to settlements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
The need for investment
Furthermore, in this study, it is important to remember that port connectivity requires investment. During the drafting hearing of the plan, the BPA proposed to create a working group with public partners to ensure that ports and cargo are taken into account in investment plans.
Ports are the main mechanism for having a connected UK. Their efficiency is fundamental to the economy, ”says a BPA study. The port system in the UK is different from other systems in Europe. The ports are managed and operated by private operators. The state maintains only the role of the police. Therefore, investing in ports is done by the private sector. By the end of 2020, the private sector had pumped $ 1.7 billion into the British port economy.
The BPA is not asking the government to interfere in their constituencies. They want the government to ensure a network between the ports and the final recipients to sustain the national economy. “Maintaining port access to the national transport network is important for the growth of the UK economy,” the BPA study continues.
Invested 1.7 billion
In May 2020, Transport Minister Grant Shops announced a $ 1.7 billion cover for UK roads and railways. BPA is happy. However, in connection with the rail network, the BPA criticizes the government for allocating most of the budget to the passenger network. “Rail freight is not mentioned,” the BPA said. Currently, 12% of transport is by rail freight. A mode that can replace 12.6 million truck trips on the railways. “Through targeted investment, we can increase the role of iron in the split model,” BPA assures.
Favorite routes for personal travel
The same analysis is being done on the road network. Budgets for highways and major roads have been on the rise for the past three years. However, the funds provided are intended for infrastructure, which is not primarily a personal travel commodity, but will irritate the BPA.
In addition, the BPA is concerned about government priorities. A large portion of the fund is primarily intended for the national network, regardless of the needs of local and regional routes. The BPA recalls that the responsibility for maintaining these roads rests with the local authorities. These local authorities have been reducing their resources by 40% since 2011. In this case, local authorities need to prioritize their plans. “We need to show the importance of freight in budgets and projects and make sure it is not a project aimed at private traffic,” the BPA said.
HS2, Heathrow Airport
Cites two examples. The first is aimed at the HS2 high-speed rail line. We are not opposed to this in the sense that the materials for the construction of these lines will pass through the ports. However, we want to ensure that the construction of this line will ensure the clearance of new freight lanes. ” The second example is about the new runways at Heathrow Airport. BPA is concerned that the expansion of this infrastructure is not taking place by studying the relationship with the ports.
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