Port of Dover sails closer to becoming UK’s first Green Shipping Corridor, UK transport secretary reveals

Port of Dover handles £144bn of trade

Port of Dover handles £144bn of trade

The Port of Dover took a significant step forward in becoming the UK’s first high-volume Green Shipping Corridor yesterday (29 September).

Marking World Maritime Day, Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced that the Port of Dover has been successful in its bid to fund the Green Corridor Short Straits (GCSS) consortium’s feasibility study to establish a zero-carbon trade route, a partnership which also includes French sister ports, Calais and Dunkirk. 

The Port of Dover is the closest UK port to mainland Europe facilitating up to 120 ferry movements per day - carrying up to 11 million passengers, 2.1 million cars and 2.4 million trucks annually.

The port is responsible for handling £144 billion of trade and 33% of all UK-EU trade.

’Greening’ this element of the supply chain will therefore make vast progress in decarbonising the journey of much of the UK’s trade – and paves the way for other ports to follow, the port said.

The Green Corridor Short Straits study focuses on the route between the Port of Dover and the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk will support the transition to green crossings to and from the UK, making way for zero-emission vessels, leisure crafts and workboats in the future. 

In a statement released by the Department for Transport, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The UK has always been a proud seafaring nation and helping the maritime sector to be more environmentally friendly will mean it continues to play a key role in the UK’s economy for generations to come.”

This project brings together the consortium from the Dover Clean Ferry Power Project, a successful project from the first Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, which included the University of Kent, Warwick Manufacturing Group (University of Warwick), P&O Ferries and Schneider Electric, with additional partners for the second round; DFDS, Irish Ferries, Ikigai Capital, JG Maritime Solutions, SSE and ABB. 

Hailing the win, Port of Dover’s chief commercial officer, Christian Pryce, said: “The Port of Dover is leading the way on Port decarbonisation, and more broadly, on recognising the role we will play in the decarbonisation of the UK supply chain. We are embracing the critical role and responsibility that the Port of Dover has, and recognise complexity of the journey we are undertaking, together. With sailings every 36 minutes the port supports just-in-time supply chains across the nation, being the key entry and exit point for over 2m HGVs and equivalent tourist vehicles to the UK Strategic Road Network. We can adapt to a diverse traffic profile and the flexibility, capacity and resilience of the route are unmatched in the UK, making us, and our French sister ports, the prime option for the first Green Shipping Corridor.

”In 2022, Dover has moved up a gear in our sustainable ambitions – announcing our ambitious sustainability strategy in May, the Port intends to reach net-zero (direct emissions and our purchased energy) by 2025 and reaching net-zero (indirect emissions caused by our activity) by 2030. This week’s announcement solidifies our position as the vanguard of UK port decarbonisation.

”Congratulations to all our partners who were also central to this bid!”

The Green Corridor at Short Straits (GCSS): feasibility study into establishing a Green Corridor between Port of Dover and the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition 2, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. 

As set out in the Clean Maritime Plan (2019), government funding has been used to support early-stage research relating to clean maritime. The programme will be used to support the research, design and development of zero emission technology and infrastructure solutions for maritime and to accelerate decarbonisation in the sector. 

The Port of Dover is the UK’s busiest international ferry port, handling more lorries than all other UK ports put together.

Dover is also the UK’s second busiest cruise port, has a marina and property business primed to benefit from a new waterfront and a busy cargo business handling fresh produce, containers, project cargo, general cargo and grain operating from a state-of-the-art terminal. 

The Port of Dover said it holds ambitious net zero targets, placing it at the vanguard of decarbonisation within the UK ports industry