The overall funding could increase to $11 million, including a second set of funding for local resilience forums, and partnerships consisting of representatives from local public services. Kent will receive about $3 million of the new funds.
Commenting on the allocation, Tim Morris, chief executive of the UK Major Ports Group said that this extra funding is welcome. However, there must be a realism regarding how much change can be achieved between now and the end of October.
He added that support for authorities in these areas must be continuous, in order to ensure that they are developing the strength of the UK’s gateways for trade for the long term. What is more, another challenge could be how ready shippers are to deal with a new customs regime for trade with the EU.
Moreover, the British Ports Association highlighted possible areas of improvement for the government's preparations. Namely, during July it called the chancellor to spend newly-announced Brexit contingency funding, in order to make sure that government operations at the border are ready for any scenario.
In the meantime, 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.