Majority of UK ports not prepared for Brexit, according to poll

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31st January 2019 16:28 - Transport and Distribution

Majority of UK ports not prepared for Brexit: As the date for leaving the EU draws closer, a survey has revealed that the majority of UK ports are not prepared for the changes. The research by executive search firm, Odgers Berndtson found that just 16% of the firms polled have made ‘significant or practical’ plans in respect of Brexit. 
The survey of company leaders of around 100 UK ports and harbours set out to find how prepared regional ports around the UK are for the EU departure. It found that almost six in ten respondents (59%) were expecting Brexit to have a ‘negative’ or ’strongly negative’ impact.
In terms of how they will manage Brexit, a quarter (25%) said that despite limited preparation they are positioned to deal with it well. 
More than 4 in 10 of those polled said they were doubtful about how well they would be able to manage any extra demands, while a third said they felt they could manage the increase in demand but needed more investment.
Eighty-three percent (83%) said they have the teams in place to keep operations well managed in the shorter term
When asked what they are likely to focus on as they plan for Brexit, eight in ten (80%) said their focus will primarily be investing in physical infrastructure. Over a quarter (26%) said technology will be the first thing they invest in.
Head of Odgers Berndtson Maritime & Shipping Practice, Paul Butterworth said: “The ports industry is keen to seize on any opportunities arising from Brexit, but this is the first real indication of what’s actually happening outside ports like Dover.”

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