Commenting on how the UK’s largest port operators are facing the challenges of corona virus/COVID-19, Tim Morris, CEO of the UK Major Ports Group, said “The UK’s major ports are resilient and have coped with large scale upheaval before. Right now their priorities are the well being of colleagues and keeping British supply chains moving. Our ports are the gateways for 95% of goods entering or leaving the UK – including, for example, half our food needs – and are taking a wide range of business continuity measures to ensure that they stay open.
Some types of trade – such as with Asia – have been disrupted for some weeks, although are likely to bounce back in the near term. Some types of activity – such as cruise – will be significantly disrupted for some time. However, many other types of trade are for now continuing at near normal levels.
The most important things the Government can do for the major ports sector at this time are to recognise its critical role in essential supply chains in terms of testing and fuel supplies, work directly or via banks to keep cash flowing to our supply chain partners and, with respect to the new Emergency Powers, ensure that Government Agencies are sufficiently staffed so that they don’t have to close down otherwise well-functioning ports.”