Ports face more difficulties due to Covid-19 than Brexit, says BPA

19 May 2020 (Last Updated August 21st, 2020 11:40)

British Ports Association (BPA) has released new data that shows that only 36% of the ports in the UK feel confident about the next 12 months business outlook.

Ports face more difficulties due to Covid-19 than Brexit, says BPA
BPA data shows that only 36% of the ports in the UK feel confident about the next 12 months business outlook. Credit: Peter H / Pixabay.

British Ports Association (BPA) has released new data that shows that only 36% of the ports in the UK feel confident about the next 12 months business outlook.

Compared to the Brexit survey, 69% of the ports were confident regarding their business outlook.

The data revealed that 86% of the ports reported a substantial or severe impact on customer activities and shipping.

Many ports have not used the support measures of the UK Government and 55% of the ports said they are ‘not satisfied with the mechanisms and funding available’.

In terms of the operational challenges, 65% reduced landside operational staff, 49% decreased marine operational staff, 24% reduced management staff and 29% reported issues in the sourcing of mechanical components.

The data revealed that 44% of ports faced issues in sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) and 5% reported issues in cargo storage space.

Overall, 89% of the ports in the UK were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic due to illness, self-isolation or lay-offs.

In terms of the port constructions, 64% have paused the work, while 15% are progressing slowly. 69% of ports said they do not need financial assistance and 31% said that they need it.

BPA policy and economic analyst Phoebe Warneford-Thomson said: “Even in a time of crisis, ports must ensure all services are maintained such as cargo facilities, security arrangements and safety systems, often with a full staff.

“However, ports are not only seeing a substantial impact on their customer activity and obstacles to commercial operations but facing requests for assistance from port users too. Ports have quite literally helped keep the country supplied during the pandemic.”