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  • 2020 November 15 10:21

    Ports welcome freeports milestone amid growing calls for the opportunities to be made available to all regions

    The British Ports Association has today [Monday 16 November] welcomed the launch of the bidding process and the publication of the bidding prospectus for Freeports in England. The BPA have been promoting a port zoning economic vision that supports regional growth and prosperity akin to the Freeports strategy for several years.

    This stage represents a key step forward to the establishment of a more advanced model Freeports than previously seen. However inclusivity and consistency around the UK is still something policy makers need to consider to ensure all regions can benefit.

    The British Ports Association, the national association for all types of ports, harbours and terminals, speaks for over 400 ports, terminals and port facilities. BPA membership facilitates 86% of all UK port trade and handles 85% of all vessel arrivals in the UK.

    The BPA has championed the value of port clusters as a way of driving economic growth in coastal regions. Since the UK Government’s announcement of the establishment of 10 Freeports in the Summer of 2019, the BPA has argued that the Government must prioritise the principles of inclusivity, competition and fairness when forging the policy.  

    The BPA welcomed recent suggestions that the Treasury would consider the establishment of more than 10 Freeports in the event they receive a large number of high-quality proposals.

    Today’s announcement does not yet represent the same significant step for ports in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, however. The BPA recently wrote to ministers responsible for the implementation of Freeports around the UK, voicing concerns that the devolved administrations have fallen behind and could be disadvantaged compared to English ports.

    Commenting, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, said: "This stage represents a key step forward to the establishment of a more advanced model Freeports than we have seen before. However inclusivity and consistency around the UK is still something policy makers need to consider to avoid any inadvertent consequences of perceived ‘winners and losers’.

    The BPA remains excited by the prospect of Freeports and we value Government’s recognition of ports as engines for local and national economic development.  Coastal communities are often found in areas of high deprivation, so this policy has the potential to be transformative for certain regions.

    However, our members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have concerns that dealignment and delays to the policy in the devolved administrations may be disruptive to ports market, which rely on a level-playing field for free and fair competition.

    There are also further discussions to be had to ensure Freeports zones are geographically big enough and sufficiently flexible to enable regional growth ambitions. We are keen the Treasury keeps an open mind in terms of the development of these proposals and look forward to helping the government drive this exciting strategy forward."

    The BPA is somewhat cautious of the potential economic displacement occurring in England too and the implementation of UK Freeports must not disrupt the level playing field upon which UK ports compete.

    This has been remedied slightly by government’s recent welcome comments suggesting the possibility of more than 10 Freeports. However; some elements of the Freeports policy remain open to review, which could be rolled out further across the country.

    There are hopes that certain aspects of this can be widened to include all ports; including planning easements and ongoing considerations of how to speed up the Environmental Impact Assessment process as well as enabling marine development levers. By granting all ports access to certain policy mechanisms to accelerate growth, this could help to counter-balance the risk of displacement and help the government’s ‘build back better’ agenda.

    This statement is embargoed until 00.01 Monday 16 November 2020. The HM Treasury will publish the Freeports bidding prospectus for English ports on Monday morning.

2022 January 21

19:15 PortNews’ week updates and insights summary
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18:07 Green Innovation Fund adopts joint project on “Mass-production and Cost Reduction of Floating Offshore Wind Installation”
17:44 The new Stena Baltica has debuted on Stena Line’s Baltic Sea route from Ventspils to Nynäshamn
17:16 Port of Los Angeles breaks cargo record in 2021
17:06 Finnlines strengthens Germany-Sweden route with a fourth ship
16:36 Maersk opens its logistics center for South Western Europe at port of Barcelona
16:03 Dublin Port sees a small reduction in volumes in 2021
15:24 Kongsberg Digital joins the NorthWind project to develop digital twin technology for offshore wind
14:03 ClassNK issues Approval in Principle for ammonia-fueled Panamax bulk carrier developed by Planning and Design Center for Greener Ships (GSC)
14:02 TGE Marine announces completion of largest LNG Bi-Lobe Type C Tanks
13:23 Samskip adds 150 new sustainable reefer containers to its fleet
13:01 Icebreakers remain busy assisting shipping of the Gulf of Finland eastern part
12:13 Freight volumes increase at the Port of Gothenburg in 2021
12:12 Nippon Paint Marine’s new fastar antifouling earmarked for Cosco Shipping VLCC fleet
11:42 RZD invested heavily in its rolling stock upgrade in 2021
11:31 DP World launches a premium barge service between the Upper Rhine region and Rotterdam World Gateway
11:03 Israel orders three new submarines from thyssenkrupp Marine Systems
10:31 Port of Oakland import volume hit new record in 2021
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09:32 MABUX: Global bunker prices may slide down on Jan. 21
09:21 Baltic Dry Index as of Jan 20

2022 January 20

18:35 EuroDry announces agreement to acquire a 2014-built Supramax bulker
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17:15 The U.S. Army gets $22.81 billion in supplemental funding of studies, projects and programs
17:05 Sanmar Shipyards delivers fourth powerful compact tug to SAAM Towage
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16:35 Uber Boat by Thames Clippers builds the UK’s first hybrid high speed passenger ferries
16:15 American Cruise Lines unveils Project Blue
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14:40 Exports of LNG and gas condensate from port Sabetta exceeded 19 million tonnes in 2021
14:11 Stena Line and Associated British Ports sign £100M deal for new ferry terminal at the Port of Immingham
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13:19 MABUX: Bunker Weekly Outlook, Week 03, 2022
13:12 Norside buys the platform supply vessel 'Farland' for offshore wind
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11:51 Port of Long Beach sets annual record with 9.38 million TEUs
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09:33 MABUX: Global bunker prices may turn over downward correction in the end of the day
09:25 Crude oil market sees downward price correction
09:08 Baltic Dry Index as of January 19

2022 January 19

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