Feature, Freight News, Sea

Ports report sets out blueprint for Covid recovery

[ May 20, 2020   //   ]

The British Ports Association (BPA) has set out a framework for the future of the sector in an economic recovery plan published on 20 May. It highlights how investment in ports can play a part in the UK’s healing from the Covid crisis, deepest economic shock in living memory.

It calls for a Green Maritime Fund to drive sustainable development, along with “a massive scaling up” of the UK’s infrastructure ambitions including a UK Infrastructure Bank and a Green Maritime Fund and a bold and broad-based Freeports policy and port zoning strategy.

Other measures outlined within the plan include a government factoring service to allow ports and other businesses to raise funds in the short term. It adds that a deferral of business rates backed by central Government would also free up capital to help cash flow.

The BPA welcomes government’s sustainability objectives but stresses that significant investment will be required to achieve these targets. It is thus proposing government adopts a Green Maritime Fund, to unlock capital, aid the growth of the sector while also taking steps towards the Government’s most critical long-term policy aims. The BPA will also shortly be publishing a paper that explores how to overcome the barriers to ship-to-shore power.

With the government, in the process of developing a UK-wide strategy on Freeports, the BPA has identified several imperative conditions of the UK Freeport model to unlock the untapped potential of the UK’s coastal by drawing investment into manufacturing and logistics. It also urges it vernment not to limit its ambition to the previously suggested ten-site scheme as some regions could be left  behind.

BPAis also asking that government creates ‘port zones’ and gives them improved planning, fiscal and regulatory status.