Comment: Top municipal port prepares for any Brexit storms

 

Portsmouth is the UK’s most successful municipal port, considered to be a major port by the DfT, the best connected with a direct link to the motorway, and serves the most cross-channel routes.

That’s why it is vital trade continues to operate as seamlessly as possible post-Brexit. It is essential for council services, because the port contributes a significant amount to the council budget - £7.8m last year, and is critical for businesses who rely on goods reaching their destination on time.

”Local

The main concerns stem from uncertainty, diverting much needed cash from council services, the implications of changes to customs arrangements, and possible consequences from delays at European ports.

This is why we’ve been sensibly planning for a no deal scenario, so we can play our part and make sure trade flows without hold ups. We look after two million passengers travelling to France, Spain and the Channel Islands, and over 250,000 freight movements a year, managing ferries' turnaround within an hour and a half.

To help look at future arrangements we have been involved in a range of planning groups from border delivery and port health at a governmental level and our Local Resilience Forum (LRF), to meeting with our European neighbours to understand the pressures they are potentially facing.

Quite rightly, there has been attention on strategies for handling potential traffic issues in Dover, and we are discussing similar contingency plans through our region’s LRF to make sure we’re in the best possible position to handle changes after Friday 29 March.

Brexit has definitely put the spotlight on the importance of ports for UK trade and if anything there is a realisation about the vital service ports provide. There has been a growing appreciation that supermarket shelves, building supplies, manufacturing plants all rely on the sea to deliver up to 95% of goods.

It has been important for us that ministers understand the roll-on roll-off model, (RoRo), which is operated in ports like Portsmouth. Unlike other shipping methods, RoRo is the best option for transporting goods that can’t afford to hang around.

Any impact that could cause a delay has serious implications for the wider supply chain. Often overlooked is the Channel Islands’ reliance on just-in-time imports, which sees 90% of all goods needed for the islands leaving through Portsmouth. Supermarkets depend on reliable services so they can keep their shops stocked with supplies, so a 24-48 hour delay can mean empty shelves.

We’re fortunate the council owns our sister site, MMD Shipping Services, which currently handles non-EU goods. This means we already have the experts and facilities available such as a customs agency and DEFRA approvals to accommodate diverted freight, or handle additional paperwork requirements.

We want to make sure this essential just-in-time service, which only RoRo ports can provide, remains uninterrupted and goods continue to flow seamlessly. Maintaining a successful, commercial port is vital for our council services, critical for businesses, and also the wider public who probably don’t realise quite how much they rely on ports.

Brexit brings risks and opportunities but the closer the UK gets to March without a deal, the less chance RoRo ports have to put preparations in place.

Whatever happens we will need a period of time for the UK and our European neighbours to put systems and infrastructure in place to manage freight carrying critical items such as fresh food and medical supplies quickly at both ends of the supply chain. It would be wrong for a municipal port to spend tax-payers’ money on changes too soon when they may not be required.

Mike Sellers is port director of Portsmouth International Port

This story first appeared on our sister site The MJ.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Senior Clerk of Works

Bedford Borough Council
£27,905 - £30,507 + market rate supplement £2,630 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Service Manager – Network Management

Somerset County Council
£46,122 per annum
A number of exciting permanent opportunities have arisen to drive forward further improvements to our traffic related services. Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Traffic Control Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
A number of exciting permanent opportunities have arisen to drive forward further improvements to our traffic related services. Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Engineer

Bedford Borough Council
£31,371 - £32,878 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Technician

Bedford Borough Council
£27,905 - £30,507 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Engineering Technician

Bedford Borough Council
£24,313 - £26,999 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Engineer – Multiple disciplines

Bedford Borough Council
£33,799 - £36,876 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure.  Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Trainee Engineering Technician

Bedford Borough Council
£21,589 - £23,836 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Asset Engineer

Isle of Man Government
£47,064 - £54,805
The Isle of Man is a special place to live and work! Isle of Man (GB) (IM)
Recuriter: Isle of Man Government

Commercial Services Officer - Funerals

Brent Council
£33,291 - £35,724 p.a. inc. plus Standby Allowance
The post will be involved in all aspects of the funeral service Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Transportation Planning Officer x2

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band F, SCP 26-31 (£29,636 – £33,799 per annum) (£15.36 - £17.52 per hour)
The post holders will be part of a team developing transport policy encompassing all modes of travel Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Highway Asset Engineer

Lambeth Council
£38,403 pa rising in annual increments to £41,466 pa incl LW
Lambeth is a vibrant place with a diverse population and an exciting cultural scene. Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788 career grade
We need an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Senior Community Infrastructure Levy Administration Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 - £44,373
The successful candidate will play a key role in ensuring Richmond and Wandsworth Councils mitigate the... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Principal Information and Monitoring Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£40,183-£47,274 (Grade PO5)
Opportunity has arisen within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for a team leader with demonstrable practical experience of... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Community Infrastructure Levy Administration Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643-£44,373 (Linked Grade PO2- PO4)
There has never been a more challenging – or rewarding – time to work for Richmond and Wandsworth.  London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Engineer – Highways Development Service (HDS)

North Yorkshire County Council
£38,813 - £42,683 pa
We are looking for someone to join the Development Management Team in a new post. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Senior Development Management Engineer – Section 38

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782
Due to the nature of the role the ability to travel effectively throughout Warwickshire is essential. Warwick, Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwickshire County Council

Partnerships & Activities Manager

London Borough of Bexley
£31,353 - £36,876
Currently seeking an experienced manager to work in the Parks and Open Spaces Team of Bexley Council’s Communities Department. Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Chartered Environmental Health Traineeships– 3 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National Minimum Wage (Age appropriate) plus enhancements for night time working
This traineeship opportunity is for graduates to undertake the new Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council