North UK ports broker collaboration pact

PD Ports' development director, Geoff Lippitt PD Ports' development director, Geoff Lippitt

In the wake of Brexit, major ports across the north of the UK have agreed to unprecedented collaboration to ensure their unified voice is heard by government.

PD Ports, the Port of Tyne, ABP Ports and Peel Ports have brokered a ground-breaking pact to pursue a Northern Ports Strategy to improve freight and transport links in the area. They have pledged to work together to create new jobs in and around ports, and boost investment in an East-West Freight Supercorridor.

“These are going to be changing economic times for the whole of the UK therefore it’s important that the north and northern ports are seen as a progressive body to drive through that change,” said  Geoff Lippitt, PD Ports’ development director.

“We at PD Ports have always been at the forefront of developing economic growth through our investments and this complements what we are already achieving locally, regionally and nationally,” he added.

While 95% of British goods come and go through ports, the region is home to 24% of the UK population but transports 56% of the UK’s rail tonnage, 35% of road tonnage and accommodates 35% of total port throughput.

However, 60% of freight destined for the north is delivered to southern ports - leading to unnecessary motorway traffic, delays, pollution and inefficiency.

Compiled by independent think tank IPPR North, the 53-page document, ‘Gateways to the Northern Powerhouse: Towards a Northern ports strategy’ makes recommendations for central and local government, and local enterprise partnerships as well as northern ports, freight and logistics companies themselves.

Ed Cox, director of IPPR North, said: "Britain was a trading nation long before the European Union was ever thought of, and that fact will not change despite the Brexit vote.”

“The nature of any new European trade agreement will be vital, but the measures set out in our new Northern Ports Strategy provide a framework upon which any new deal must be based,” he added.

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