Port operators make freeports pledge

DP World London Gateway The port operators making the freeports commitment include Associated British Ports, the Bristol Port Company, DP World UK, Forth Ports, Hutchison Ports UK, PD Ports, Peel Ports and the Port of London Authority. Photo DP World

Many of the UK’s largest port operators have jointly committed to high standards of sustainability and security in UK freeports.

This commitment comes ahead of the deadline for the submission of freeports bids to the Government on 5 February. In addition to the UK Major Ports Group (UKMG), the port operators making the commitment are Associated British Ports, the Bristol Port Company, DP World UK, Forth Ports, Hutchison Ports UK, PD Ports, Peel Ports and the Port of London Authority.

Tim Morris, CEO of the UKMPG, said: “Freeports should be an opportunity to stimulate significant investment that strengthens the UK’s capability to trade with the world plus bring more jobs and prosperity to areas that need it.

“UK port operators are committed to fully playing their role in ensuring that these benefits are also delivered sustainably and securely. They support high standards that work together with sustainable development and believe that such high standards across environmental, social and economic sustainability should go hand in hand to create long term success.”

The commitment covers sustainability across each of its three primary dimensions. Environmental – where the commitment is to high standards of environmental integrity; Social – where the commitment is to benefits to local communities, skills and employment rights; and Economic – where the commitment is to grow long-term investment in physical, intellectual and social capital.

In addition, the port operators strongly believe that a sustainable enterprise is also one that ensures appropriately high levels of security and integrity. Therefore, they fully support the standards set out in the Government’s bidding document and would go further in committing to maintain any higher standards they are currently subject to, stated the UKMPG. Whilst its likely that freeport proposals could be quite different from each other, meaning that the specific expression of this commitment will differ, there is strong support across port operators to the core underlying principles.

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