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Associated British Ports invest in Hull and Southampton to mitigate Brexit risk
Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading ports operator, recently announced an additional investment to boost facilities at its Port of Hull, bringing the group’s total investment to £250 million since the EU referendum in 2016
Investments include: £50 million to boost capacity at its container terminals at ABP’s ports of Hull and Immingham; £65 million to help ensure the future of the steel industry on the river Humber; £55 million to enhance the automotive and cruise offering in the Port of Southampton; and a range of other investments throughout its network of 21 ports across England, Scotland and Wales.
ABP is making the investments to attempt to shore up potential alternative routes for goods into and out of the UK in the event of Brexit making the Port of Dover a far more congested route. ABP says that its container and ferry facilities on the Humber are capable of helping businesses bypass such disruption, providing “regular and reliable links to Europe”. Over 70 sailings every week connect the Humber to a number of destinations including Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Poland.
Henrik Pedersen, Chief Executive Officer of ABP, said: “For ABP, ‘keeping Britain trading’ is a responsibility that we are passionately committed to. We are continuing to invest in our people, equipment and capability, so that we have the flexibility and resilience we need to help UK trade to flow and grow. We have already seen volumes begin to rise at our ports on the Humber as customers look for alternatives to Dover. Our ports have been operating to world-class standards for many years, we have proved that we are ready to handle new customers’ requirements.
“We want to send a strong message that ABP stands ready to keep Britain trading through Brexit, and we will continue to invest to drive trade and create jobs over the longer term.”
ABP is an important component in the UK’s trading infrastructure, handling almost £150 billion of UK trade across its port network, contributing around £7.5 billion to the UK economy and supporting almost 120,000 UK jobs across its supply chains. In addition, it has a vast landbank surrounding its ports, which provides ample room to grow and enhance operations.