Commenting on some media reports of congestion at a UK port Tim Morris, CEO of the UK Major Ports Group, said “As the UK’s gateways for 95% of trade ports are the jam in the sandwich between surging, volatile shipping and UK supply chains badly impacting by factors such as HGV driver shortages. UK ports have remained open and resilient through the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit border changes and surging global demand for goods travelling by sea.
It has not been easy and there have been times of real stress on the ports system. Ports have taken significant action to respond to the challenges and build resilience. They have extended gate opening to 24/7, increased capacity for trucks at peak hours, sought to maximise rail freight usage within the significant constraints of the network, created additional storage space and recruited more people.
But the pressures are being exacerbated by well publicised issues impacting all UK supply chains, notably shortages of HGV drivers. Ports therefore have to manage access to storage space very dynamically in extreme situations. This can mean some very limited, short term restrictions.
Ports are committed to working closely with customers and entire supply chains to keep goods moving.”