Freight News, Sea

Let’s spread the load, urges Peel Ports boss

[ October 18, 2021   //   ]

Peel Ports, the UK’s second-largest port operator is calling for the supply chain to make better use of the entire port network across the country helping to address problems caused by bottlenecks in the South-East.

Managing director of group ports, David Huck, says that, according to Maritime UK figures, the top 20 ports account for 88% of the total seafreight handled in the UK

He said: “It might raise eyebrows that we’re encouraging companies to use competitors as well as ourselves, but these are exceptional times. Brexit, Covid and the long-standing HGV driver shortage are all combining to challenge the supply chain like never before.

“Congestion in southern ports has long been an issue and there has traditionally been a huge reliance on the south to facilitate the UK’s supply chain. Currently 95% of goods enter the country via the south, yet 60% is actually destined for the north. We have long argued the UK is too reliant on the South-East and the current climate calls for a serious rethink on the future of alternative regional ports being used as points of entry and exit.”

David Huck explained that the UK has excellent coverage throughout the country of ports for every size vessel and every commodity. “We need to take full advantage of this by moving goods by sea as much as possible and doing so closest to their point of origin or their destination. That will reduce the pressure in congested areas and allow us to better use both the supply of haulage services and the road network.”