Grangemouth, Tilbury and Tilbury2 have received government funding of £11.7 million to beef up border infrastructure in preparation for Brexit.
Forth Ports, which owns the import/export hubs, welcomed the investment from the Port Infrastructure Fund, saying contractors are on site and the new border inspection facilities are set to be approved and operational by 1 July 2021.
“This £11.7m funding allocation for new border facilities will complement our existing work with cargo owners, shippers and the wider freight community to ensure that our global gateways stay highly productive and congestion free”, said Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports Group.
Early this week, the port operator unveiled a suite of tools and dedicated support for importers and exporters from the group’s in-house Brexit transition support team.
Hammond added: “Harnessing our vast experience and proven performance of handling rest-of-world trade supported by IT-backed border and booking systems, an extensive network of ferry and container connections, and excellent onward rail and road linkages to the largest domestic consumer markets, we will ensure that goods continue to flow efficiently across our borders and onward to their final destination.
“Supply chains are realigning as they seek greater resilience and a low carbon route close to market, and our ports are ideally placed to support through our investment in infrastructure, market leading turnaround times and capacity for growth.”
The Port of Grangemouth is Scotland’s largest container port handling 30 per cent of the country’s exports, with enhanced network shipping connections to northern European’s industrial base through key hubs like Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg, as well as new calls to the Benelux.
Meanwhile, the Port of Tilbury is the fastest-growing port in the UK and is home to the country’s newest port, Tilbury2. The £250m terminal is the UK’s largest unaccompanied freight ferry terminal, operated by P&O Ferries. Forth Ports reported that P&O’s Tilbury-Zeebrugge ro-ro route has recorded seven per cent annualised growth in Tilbury2’s first six months.
The London Container Terminal at Tilbury has added five new routes in 2020, stretching from north Africa to Norway, with a 35 per cent increase in European trade this year.