NORTHERN port giants have united to ensure one voice is heard by Government when it comes to improving vital freight and transport links.
Described as an “unprecedented collaboration”, signatories to the agreement include Humber giant Associated British Ports, and estuary operator PD Ports, as well as Port of Tyne and Peel Ports, the company behind Liverpool’s maritime might.
Often competitors, they have brokered a ground-breaking pact to pursue a Northern Ports Strategy, working together to create new jobs in and around the vital quaysides and terminals.
It also has the aim of boosting investment in an East-West Freight Supercorridor with improvements to rail infrastructure being the ultimate priority.
“Ports can help drive economic growth as centres for new manufacturing, as well as by providing essential gateways for trade.
“That’s why ABP is pleased to work with others to make sure that ports can play their full role in the development of the Northern Powerhouse. The potential is huge. We want to help realise that potential and the benefits this will deliver for the Humber.”
Plans include formulating growth strategies and masterplans, already seen at Immingham, the largest port by tonnage, as well as establishing a Northern Ports, Freight and Logistics Association to drive strategic co-operation within the sector and to create a Northern Maritime Knowledge Hub.
Geoff Lippitt, PD Ports’ development director, said: “These are going to be changing economic times for the whole of the UK therefore it is important that the North and northern ports are seen as a progressive body to drive through that change. We at PD Ports have always been at the forefront of developing economic growth through our investments and this complements what we are already achieving locally, regionally and nationally.”