Freight News, Sea

North and South unite to fight Humber’s corner

[ April 25, 2012   //   ]

Humber ports-based businesses are to launch a new partnership to promote the estuary internationally at the Multimodal Logistics conference at the NEC on 2 May.

HumberPort brings together major players, including Associated British Ports (ABP), Able UK, Danbrit and DFDS Seaways to promote in a coordinated way what it says is the largest and busiest port complex in the UK. The organisation is based at Logistics Institute at the Hull University Business School, which is also providing the secretariat.

Director of the University of Hull’s Knowledge Exchange and interim chair of HumberPort, Bill Walker, said: “The Humber has a unique geographical location which provides a natural gateway to and from the north of England and northern and eastern Europe. It is also on a trade and transport corridor along the axis from Ireland to the Netherlands and the continent.”

The organisation will highlight all the benefits of the estuary to an international audience in an ordered way, he continued. He stressed that the new organisation is called HumberPort (singular), emphasising that to be internationally competitive, ports on both sides of the Humber should be promoted as one entity.

He also stressed the Logistics Institute’s important role, as an impartial body, as the central point of contact for businesses choosing to use the Humber for their business needs.

One of the founders, Neil Etherington, group development director, Able UK, commented: “This is precisely the sort of joined up thinking – and action – that the area has needed and that the wider community deserves. Internationally, it faces stiff competition but can now be marketed with a shared purpose and commitment to secure new investment and new jobs.”

Managing director of Danbrit Shipping, Peter Aarosin, said the new organisation would promote the estuary in a similar way Rotterdam and Antwerp and potential customers would appreciate that over 60 % of UK customers are within three hours driving time.

Sean Potter, MD of DFDS Seaways described the initiative as “a positive development for the Humber as a whole, it aims to cement existing awareness of the regions extensive and growing business activities as well as skill sets in the sector.  It will also enable the region to further promote and profile  itself  in developing markets and make a real statement of intent as the government says ‘being open for business’.

As well as the major-port based businesses, the initiative also has the support of many smaller businesses in the region involved in the ports. It is also working with the four local authorities, the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and organisations including the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Centre.

Mr Walker added: ‘This is an exciting time for Yorkshire and Humber. The region is emerging as a world-leading centre in offshore wind and is driving forward the development of the broader renewable energy sector…The Humber is greater than the sum of its parts.”


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