A global network of air, rail and sea links forms the backbone of the world’s trade. That network has become more apparent to the public during Covid-19, with transport workers having to stay safe so that goods keep moving. Following the end of the Brexit transition period, the movement of goods across the UK’s borders has been smooth enough for us to be cautiously optimistic.
This article was first published in the May 2021 issue of Logistics Insight, subscribe to the magazine by
Two-thirds of ports said they felt ‘somewhat confident’ about the business outlook for 2021, according to a survey by the British Ports Association. Many were optimistic, with the words ‘positive’, ‘hope’ and ‘opportunity’ frequently mentioned. One port said ‘things can only get better.’
With the announcement by the Chancellor in the March Budget of eight new freeports in England, due to enter operation in late 2021, there is even more reason to be confident. The freeports will be located at: East Midlands Airport; Felixstowe and Harwich; Humber region; Liverpool City Region; Plymouth; Solent; Thames; and Teesside. Companies inside the sites will be offered temporary tax breaks, mostly lasting five years, including reductions to the tax paid on their existing property, and when they buy new buildings.
P&O Ferries has launched a new initiative to support the wellbeing of freight drivers and raise awareness of their invaluable contribution to the economy. In recognition of the challenges freight drivers have experienced in recent months, particularly due to Covid-19 testing requirements, P&O is offering free food, discounts in onboard shops and cabin upgrades, so freight drivers are refreshed and refuelled.
DP World has announced that London Gateway, Britain’s fastest growing container terminal, is now the UK port of call for two new major international shipping services, connecting the economies of Western Europe with the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and Russia. London Gateway is now the UK port of call for Sealand-Maersk’s North Sea service, which connects the key economies of Northern Europe with the Eastern Mediterranean, and for Unifeeder’s new St Petersburg service.
ABP Humber has announced the completion of the £50 million investment in its Humber Container Terminal. The investment has seen a reduction in carbon, increased capacity and a more efficient service for customers old and new. The Humber’s prime location on the East Coast was already a popular option for international businesses, but the expansion has seen growth in new customers and new sailing routes.
Stadler and the British company, Rail Operations (UK) Limited have signed a framework agreement for the supply of thirty Class 93 tri-mode locomotives. The advanced locomotives will significantly reduce CO2 emissions for both rail freight as well as potential passenger transport services, underscoring Stadler’s green credentials and demonstrating its commitment to decarbonisation. Deliveries are expected to start in early 2023.
Well done to all those in the air, rail and sea sectors for their commitment to the global supply of goods during the most challenging of times.