Business, Freight News, Sea

Dover can take it – probably

[ February 27, 2019   //   ]

The Port of Dover has the resilience to cope with moderate disruption after Brexit and there is enough short sea capacity to absorb significant overflow at the port in the event of capacity constraints, according to an independent study by Drewry. The shipping consultancy says that despite all the political arguments about Brexit and its consequences, there has been a surprising lack of analysis of the implications for the short sea trade between the UK and the EU, and how traffic might be routed in future if Dover faced capacity constraints.
Drewry has now carried an assessment of the capacity of the port, to determine under what circumstances it could become a bottleneck, along with the availability of alternative routes for freight traffic.
The study concluded that Dover has the Border Control, check-in, embarkation area and berth capacity to cope with existing demand with some margin and could cope with a 50% increase in process times in key areas, although the characteristic traffic peaks in cross-Channel ro ro trade would need to be managed. Moreover, if Dover were capacity constrained following Brexit, some cargo that did not require high frequency short transit services could be accommodated on unaccompanied trailer and short sea container services, although supply chains would need to be redesigned. Studies carried out for the Port of Dover suggest that not more than 20% of existing traffic would be suitable for re-routing;
New Customs processes could keep traffic flowing through Dover but have not been widely tested.
Vessel capacity is though highly utilised and any significant delay to vessels would lead to a reduction in service frequency and cause a bottleneck.

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