The Port of Dover, a national asset and crucial to the performance of the Kent economy, has been demonstrated by an economic impact survey.
Independent economic consultancy Oxera has calculated the 2.2 million freight vehicles a year using the Port carry goods worth an estimated £89 billion, reinforcing Dover’s reputation as Europe’s busiest ferry port.
The report also highlights Dover’s role as one of Europe’s most important ports, with 98 per cent of its freight traffic by weight either originating in or destined for the EU.
Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: “This report shows the real, and too often unseen, value of the Port and the work of the team on behalf of UK plc, and the customers it serves.
“The scale and value of goods handled by the people working at the Port is staggering and demonstrates its importance to the nation and the need for continued and major investment.”
The report also found the combination of Dover’s location and the efficiency of its operations resulted in a net benefit to its customers of some £2.3 billion.
Tim Waggott added: “Being the closest UK port to mainland Europe means a reduced crossing time, coupled with excellent service and capacity, this adds up to a remarkable saving to hauliers who choose to travel through Dover.”
To add further value, Dover Harbour Board recently announced plans for the revival of the Western Docks with the development of a new cargo terminal and associated facilities. This includes the prospect of creating more than 600 jobs, which would generate an additional £25 million of Gross Value Added (GVA) per year for the district’s economy.
Tim Waggott added: “The report is proof positive that every day we are delivering for the UK economy, as demonstrated by our current investment of £85 million to upgrade the Eastern Docks.
“We are also looking to protect this nationally vital trade route by securing long-term capacity through our Dover Western Docks Revival vision, and must secure additional powers in order to deliver this effectively. The timing is right, our customers share our vision, and so enabling the Port to quickly pursue the revival and regeneration of Dover’s Western Docks makes eminent commercial and economic sense.”
Andrew Meaney, Managing Consultant of Oxera, said: “Following a robust economic analysis, it is plain to see the Port of Dover is a vital cog in the UK economy and European logistics chain. It already adds significant value and, given the right powers, can add so much more. Without it, the UK would be less competitive and the cost to industry would be substantial.”
Port of Dover, April 2, 2014; Image: Wikimedia