Port of Southampton Welcomes Maritime Minister to the UK’s Number One Port for Exports and Cruise

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From left to right: Darren Smith, Head of Energy Connectivity, Department for Transport, Gareth Long, Stakeholder and Partnerships Manager, Department for Transport, Lowri Rhind, Head of Environment, Department for Transport, Sarah Treseder, CEO, UK Chamber of Shipping, Baroness Vere, Maritime Minister, Department for Transport, JB Rae Smith, Vice President, UK Chamber of Shipping, Mark Simmonds, Head of Policy, British Ports Associate, Sue Simmonite, Development Director, ABP Southampton and Richard Brooks, General Manager, Williams Shipping.

ABP was pleased to welcome the Maritime Minister, Baroness Vere, to the port of Southampton today. The Minister received a tour of the port by launch, followed by a working lunch to discuss factors for the growth of the maritime sector with a range of Solent and national industry representatives.

It was an opportunity for the Minister to see and hear at first hand ABP’s plans to keep the Port of Southampton at the forefront of growing good jobs for the Solent and economic growth across the UK, such as through the recent acquisition of Solent Gateway Limited and plans for the Solent Freeport.

Several companies across the port, together with national bodies such as the UK Chamber of Shipping and the British Ports Association met with Baroness Vere in a round table discussion about working collaboratively to conquer some of the challenges the wider sector faces as it continues to drive trade and boost economic growth.

Key topics for the discussion included boosting the maritime sector’s role in growing prosperity, the challenges and opportunities from the path to net zero emissions and continuing to develop the joint skills agenda between industry and Government.

ABP Southampton is the UK leader in the installation of shore power to charge vessels, is developing new rail facilities to remove trucks from the roads and is increasingly electrifying its port operations, such as its small vehicle fleet. ABP’s commitment to skills includes currently having 42 apprentices across the group with a further 53 starting in September and 68 colleagues on its Early Careers Programme.  ABP’s Academy is training and re-skilling people for the wide range of opportunities across its ports.

Alastair Welch, Regional Director of Southampton, said “ABP welcomed the opportunity to show Baroness Vere around the port.  We believe in working with the Government and our Port Stakeholders to boost our local economy, to be supportive to our environment and provide opportunities that attract new talent to the area.”