Port of Southampton Welcomes Maritime Minister to the UK’s Number One Hub for Deep Sea Trade and Cruise

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Lord Byron Davies, Maritime Minister at the Port of Southampton with Alastair Welch, ABP Southampton Regional Director

ABP was delighted to welcome the Maritime Minister, Lord Byron Davies, to the Port of Southampton yesterday for his first port visit. It was an opportunity for the Minister to see and hear first-hand the scale and ambition of the UK’s port sector as demonstrated at the UK’s number one hub for deep sea trade and Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port.

Alastair Welch, Regional Director of Southampton, said: “It has been a pleasure to host Lord Davies and showcase the Port of Southampton. We are proud of our position as a port vital for the UK’s economy and prosperity and are ambitious for Britain in growing this role still further. It was good to show the Minister our tangible progress in implementing sustainable initiatives for a greener and more sustainable future.”

Lord Byron Davies, Maritime Minister, said: “As a maritime nation with world leading commitments to tackle climate change, the UK's ports sit at the heart of what matters most. I was delighted to visit the Port of Southampton and learn about how ABP is decarbonising port operations, delivering cleaner maritime functions and supporting jobs and the economy.” 

As an island nation with 95% of the UK’s physical trade moving by sea – such as the import of half of the UK’s food and feed needs and the export of 8 out of every 10 cars made in the UK – ports are essential for Britain. The Port of Southampton is a vital part of this picture, handling c£66bn of trade and supporting c115,000 jobs across the UK. It is a vital link in the supply chain of strategic industries for the UK like automotive, is home to one of the UK’s top deep sea container terminals and catalyses around £2.5million for the local economy from each cruise vessel visit.

The visit was also an opportunity for the Minister to witness UK ports’ commitment to sustainability. ABP Southampton is the UK leader in the installation of shore power, enabling cruise vessels to plug in alongside and achieve zero emissions when in the Port, contributing to cleaner air quality within the city. ABP is also electrifying its port operations, such as its small vehicle fleet and has installed solar panels across the Port to generate its own electricity. ABP and port users are also introducing new infrastructure and policies to increase the use of rail freight to and from the port, taking trucks off the road and driving down emissions.