February 14 ------ Port operator PD Ports has welcomed the UK government’s announcement to launch a public consultation on freeports with the aim to award ten locations special trade status by the end of 2020. PD Ports operates at thirteen locations across the country and owns Teesport, one of the busiest UK ports and an international gateway to the north of the UK. As informed, Teesport bosses have lobbied in recent years to highlight the potential benefits of freeports in supporting future trade growth, with the port chosen by the government to announce the Free Ports Commission in August 2019. PD Ports has described Teesport as “the northern gateway” for international trade, an ideal location to build on its history of delivering portcentric activity, backed by an available land bank and skilled labor pool to support further growth.
Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman Jerry Hopkinson believes there is no better case than Teesport for freeport status. “We welcome the fact that Government is demonstrating commitment to delivering freeport status to sites across the UK and intend to remain at the forefront of that discussion,” Hopkinson commented. “In our view, there really is no better case than Teesport. We have one of the deepest rivers in the UK and can take some of the world’s biggest ships. Depending on the cargo, we think the River Tees can handle more than 80m tons. Having a freeport on Teesside would not be a silver bullet, but rather a catalyst for growth; creating thousands of jobs and revitalizing the industry that was once so prolific in the area,” he added.