Forth Ports – not standing still in Brexit preparations
Forth Ports invests in supply chain solutions for customers and is well placed to deal with the changing nature of trade and its effect on these supply chains. Over the past few months, the business has been speaking to customers and industry organisations about the readiness of UK ports for the anticipated Brexit related friction in the supply chain. At the time of writing (June 2019) it is not clear what will be agreed as the UK seeks to leave the EU, however what is certain is that, as an island nation, the UK is always going to have to move goods through ports.
Currently 95% of all UK trade is handled through the country’s ports with 75% of this being handled by the UK major ports of which Forth Ports is a member. Forth Ports have not stood still. They have been working with HMRC, Border Force and Chambers of Commerce to ensure customers understand the changes that are needed to minimise customs delays post Brexit and previously secured Authorised Economic Operator accreditation to ensure a smooth service for customers.
As one of the UK’s largest port groups, with seven ports in Scotland – including Grangemouth, Leith, Rosyth and Dundee – and London’s major port in Tilbury on the Thames, Forth Ports handles over 40 million tonnes of cargo annually and are adept at tackling complex business challenges. The business is prepared for any outcome when the UK leaves the EU Single Market and Customs Union – deal or no deal.
Grangemouth is the largest port in Scotland and is a main export hub for the country’s biggest exports including chemicals, food & drink, agriculture and the oil and gas sector. The Food & Drink sector is an important and valuable asset and the port has expanded the reefer (refrigerated containers) capacity to create an all year round offer for fresh and frozen fish, bakery goods and other produce that require temperature control during transit. The port has also invested in a new multi-million pound ship-to-shore crane which is already improving turnaround times at the container terminal by delivering greater service flexibility to the many short-sea routes connecting Scotland to Continental Europe.
In these uncertain times, it’s important that we all don’t stand still, but that we adapt now to the changes which are guaranteed to come.