Forth Ports and DP World target post-Brexit freeport status

Forth Ports and DP World are to submit a joint bid for a freeport on the River Thames.

Back in April the government announced its aim to create up to 10 freeports in locations across the UK following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Freeports will have different customs rules than the rest of the country, with the Department for International Trade describing them as “innovative hubs: that “boost global trade, attract inward investment and increase productivity”.

Forth Ports operates the Port of Tilbury while DP World London Gateway, in nearby Thurrock open in November 2013.

DP World UK chief executive Ernst Schulze said that he believed a freeport on the Thames would ensure that the UK continues to be an attractive destination for inward investment, and that bringing London Gateway within a freeport would help lower the total cost of trade to the benefit of UK industry and retailers and ensure resilience in the overall supply chain.

“Working with Forth Ports will enable us to create the most sustainable, strategically located, trade enabling centre of excellence in the UK, whilst allowing us to support the development of local industry and create high skilled employment for the local area,” he said.

Forth Ports chief executive Charles Hammond said: “I am looking forward to working with the team at London Gateway on this submission for freeport status. Thurrock is at the heart of the port industry in the South East and the development hub of the Thames estuary. This joint bid brings together our complementary strengths which will create a strong, export-focused case for a freeport designation.”

Both parties have appointed consultancy Vivid Economics to work on the submission, which  is expected to be towards the end of 2020/ early 2021.

DP World are sponsors of the Retail Supply Chain Excellence Award at the 24th Supply Chain Excellence Awards which take place on 12 November at the Park Lane Hilton. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, contact daniel.jessop@akabomedia.co.uk

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