Freight News, Sea

Box ports have the problem, not us, says Dover

[ October 11, 2018   //   ]

The port of Dover has hit back against suggestions that Brexit will lead to queues of lorries at the port, pointing out, for the moment at least, it is container ports that have problems.

In a statement, it pointed out: “Much of the negative Brexit talk on ports has been about queues of lorries at Dover, but not about worsening quayside and landside box port congestion at the UK’s big container terminals.”

Following IT problems in Felixstowe and the knock-on effect in others such as Southampton, container vessels have diverted from the UK with imports destined for the UK Christmas market ending up in Rotterdam “delayed for several weeks”.

Dover adds that with other UK ro-ro ports such as Hull or Immingham only likely to be able to take up to 20% of Dover’s traffic, “the Government’s focus is and has been on keeping all trade flowing through Dover”.

Ferries needed to divert Dover’s traffic do not exist; crossings are too long and the sailings too infrequent, says Dover.

“In fact, the Government understands that rather than becoming boxed in by distraction, it needs to remain 100% focused on the solution for Dover that will keep traffic flowing across the UK,” it adds. Dover is at the centre of contingency planning to minimise disruption in the event of a No-Deal Brexit.