On October 23, 39 bodies of Chinese nationals were found in a refrigerated truck trailer just outside the Purfleet freight terminal, a ro/ro freight ferry port, 18 miles outside of London on the River Thames. The British Ports Association commented on these findings, saying that ‘we were horrified to see the events in Essex.’
BPA issued a report compiling some examples of community and stakeholder initiatives across UK ports, in a bid to highlight the work ports are doing to benefit their communities. Ports are critical to the UK economy, handling 95% of UK trade and directly employing over 115,000 people.
Maritime industry professionals remain confident about the year ahead despite wider uncertainty, a new Business Confidence survey by the British Ports Association reveals. However, ports themselves are more likely to be worried about the economy over the next 12 months.
Turnover of the UK fishing fleet was close to £1 billion in 2018, a very similar figure to 2017, according to a new report by the Seafish Industry Authority. A 4% decrease was reported in the total operating profit with £268 million, mainly due to an increase in fuel prices.
UK major ports’ data for 2018 shows stable port freight tonnages overall, with only a 0.1% difference on the previous year at 483.3 m tonnes. However, overall unit load traffic declined, partly due to a reduction of port traffic in passenger cars and new trade cars.
The British Ports Association announced the launch of a new joint smart ports paper with the Port of Rotterdam examining port digitalization. The paper sets out some of the benefits of smart operations and how UK ports of all sizes can benefit.
The British Ports Association, British Tugowners Association, Port Skills and Safety, UK Chamber of Shipping, UK Major Ports Group, and UK Marine Pilots Association issued a joint notice to raise awareness against DWHLs use and the consequences. The notice highlights what is expected of seafarers in the International and Domestic codes of the ILO Code of Practice.
The Chairman of the British Ports Association has urged for a return to stability and a relentless focus on creating a business environment that supports investment and skills. What is more, BPA believes that ports and shipping are very much part of the solution to UK decarbonisation challenges, but it raised concerns regarding the use of open-loop scrubbers in ports.
The British Ports Association has written to the UK’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss MP, urging that the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to consider how to replicate the EU’s schemes that provide investment for the transport and infrastructure network. The BPA also called for new mechanisms to be created to help UK projects benefit from European Investment Bank loans.
The British Ports Association are closely watching the developments at the IMO, as the MEPC 74 is taking place. The Association commented that it applauds IMO’s actions to tackle climate change on a global scale and also the UK’s ambitions to move towards zero emission shipping as part of this.
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