The Department for Transport (DfT) has today published its Annual UKPort Freight statistics for 2017 which show that overall total freight tonnages handled by UKports were stable, totalling 482mt. The figures which aggregate all UKmajor and minor port tonnages for the year confirm that there was a continued albeit modest growth in Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) traffic (commercial vehicles and trailers) which makes up a sizeable proportion of our trade with European countries.
The British Ports Association (BPA) Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne, suggested this underlines the importance of agreeing a post Brexit deal with the EUthat preserves the many advantages of Customs Union and Single Market membership. The BPAhas regularly voiced concerns and called for a deal which avoids the need for border interventions, congestion and delays at Ro-Ro ports, whilst also enabling UKports to take advantage of new global trade deals, such as is proposed in the UKGovernment’s Facilitated Customs Agreement. The BPAis also pressing for more Government political support for ports under a ‘Port Enterprise and Development Zones’ concept which we propose will ease business and planning rules to help stimulate growth and economic activity in and around port areas.
Full article is available on the BPA website here