Nov 12th, 2018
How will ports adjust to demand post-Brexit?
As the UK’s exit from the EU draws ever closer, businesses across the UK and the rest of Europe are preparing for how Brexit will impact the freight forwarding and exporting industries.
One of the many issues that is currently being debated, is the impact that additional checks on lorries arriving at the port of Dover could result in significant traffic in and around the port. Head of policy at Dover, Richard Christian, has argued that current checks take only two minutes, stating that it would be more effective to resolve delays within the ports at Kent and France, rather than re-direct freight to ‘less efficient routes’.
Analysts have countered this argument however, starting that if checks increased by just an extra two minutes per truck, this would lead to an astounding 17-mile queue of traffic outside of the port. With nearly half of freight shipped by containers and trucks within the ‘short sea market’ coming through the port of Dover and the Channel tunnel in 2017, the strain of post-Brexit checks could severely impact the industry as a whole, not to mention the other businesses and homes around the port.
As a result of this, ports in the North of the UK are busy preparing for additional capacity come next March, as popularity to move a number of routes away from Dover and into these ports grows. A £36 million investment has been made at the container terminal at Immingham on the Humber, this is to improve the capabilities of the port, which are predicted to double by 2020. Nearby Hull also saw investment of £14 million last year, which is growing by 10% year on year. Both ports, in addition to a number of other Northern ports now seem to be attractive options for the freight industry.
Northern freight routes are also becoming a popular option for companies due to the fact that, as they require longer journeys at sea with less road freight, carbon emissions are ultimately reduced.