Freight News, Sea

Ports drive coastal economy, says BPA chief

[ May 1, 2019   //   ]

Ports are important economic employment hubs in coastal towns and cities and the bedrock of the burgeoning “blue economy”, the newly-elected chair of the British Ports Association Martin Lawlor told the organisation’s annual lunch in London on 30 April.

Mr Lawlor, who is also chief executive at the Port of Blyth, said that ports are gateways for numerous maritime sectors including offshore energy, and general cargo movement, with UK Ports handling 95% of the nation’s goods.

He said: “We are not just enablers of trade but the foundation of the entire blue economy, supporting the safe navigation of vessels from jet skis to oil tankers and doing so independently and at no cost to the taxpayer.

“Shipping remains the most efficient way to move freight – whether it be from Brazil to the UK or from England to Scotland: your average bulk carrier is more efficient than a Toyota Prius.”

Mr Lawlor also welcomed initiatives such as the recent Offshore Sector Wind deal which sets out bold targets that will drive further investment in a growing and competitive industry as well as in those that support it, such as ports.

Chief executive of Harwich Haven Authority, Neil Glendinning, was elected as the Association’s deputy chairman.