‘Things can only get better…’

Image: BPA.
Image: BPA.

UK ports-survey points to mood of cautious optimism, with two-thirds of ports saying they feel ‘somewhat confident’ about 2021.

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By Marc Allen, Maritime Direct UK.

The British Ports Association (BPA) released the results of its recent survey of UK ports today, finding that two-thirds are mildly optimistic about the coming year, and a third, ‘not so confident’. The BPA said the salient words that characterised the ports’ responses were ‘challenge’, ‘uncertain’, and ‘difficult’. One notable response was: ‘things can only get better…’.

The feedback comes after a gruelling year for the industry, with 87% of the ports polled saying that the pandemic had negatively impacted their operations. The ports’ top concerns and issues were, in order: ‘customer activity’, ‘economy’, ‘operational challenges’, ‘Brexit’, and ‘decreased revenue’.

Phoebe Warneford-Thomson, Policy Manager and Economic Analyst for the BPA, said: ‘In most senses, the results from this survey were as expected, following the unimaginable and unprecedented challenges posed by 2020. The majority of ports stated that there had been negative impacts on their customer activity, which came at great cost to port businesses. Although not impacting all ports, Brexit changes are another great unknown…’

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