A record turnout of over 300 guests gathered in London today for the British Ports Association’s annual lunch and AGM, which struck an optimistic tone about the role of ports in supporting a range of economic and environmental goals.
Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, speaking at the lunch, said:
“Ports are key to the vitality of the UKeconomy – underpinning regional and national growth.
Congratulations to Martin and Neil, who I look forward to working with to champion the important work of ports and to meet the environmental challenge to be as clean and green as possible.”
In his address, Mr Lawlor spoke of the foundational role that ports play in UKeconomy. They are important hubs of regional economic employment in coastal towns and cities as well as the bedrock of the burgeoning “blue economy”. He said:
“Ports are gateways for numerous maritime sectors including cruise, fishing, offshore energy, leisure and of course general cargo movement, with UK Ports handling 95% of the nation’s goods.
We are not just enablers of trade but the foundation of the entire blue economy, supporting the safe navigation of vessels from jet skis to oil tankers and doing so independently and at no cost to the taxpayer.
Shipping remains the most efficient way to move freight – whether it be from Brazil to the UK or from England to Scotland: your average bulk carrier is more efficient than a Toyota Prius.
So whether it’s climate change or regenerating coastal towns, ports are a part of the solution not part of the problem.”
Mr Lawlor praised the close working relationship between the BPA and Government. He welcomed the Government’s ambitious Maritime 2050 strategy, which matches the ambition and determination from industry to deliver jobs and prosperity. He called on Ministers to deliver a regulatory and economic environment that offers certainty and is open to investment and innovation.
Mr Lawlor also welcomed initiatives such as the recent Offshore Sector Wind deal which sets out bold targets that will drive further investment in a growing and competitive industry as well as in those that support it, such as ports.
Neil Glendinning, Chief Executive of Harwich Haven Authority, was elected as the Association’s Deputy Chairman. He joins Maurice Bullick, from Belfast Harbour Commissioners, who is the BPA’s Treasurer.
This year’s lunch has been sponsored by Royal HaskoningDHV – a global maritime consultancy specialising in the planning and design of marine facilities, ports and terminals. Royal HaskoningDHV are working closely with the BPA on the development of their smart ports programme.
The pre-lunch reception was sponsored by TTClub, the leading provider of insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry.
Source: BPA website