April 30, 2015: HumberPort is being re-energized to build on the momentum achieved by the branding of the Humber as the UK's Energy Estuary; huge investment into the Humber by Siemens; and the opportunity presented by the Northern Powerhouse concept.
Professor Amar Ramudhin, Director of the Logistics Institute at the University of Hull, said ports worldwide were investing vast sums to try to create what the Humber had naturally.
"We've got it all in the Humber. We have a huge estuary with lots of ports and there's Liverpool on the other side of the North. We have this natural corridor of trade, between the Humber and Liverpool, with goods coming in and out of the UK through those ports. That is what unlocks the full potential of the Northern powerhouse. So what people are trying to invent in other places is naturally here. That makes the Humber the natural place and the logical choice for trade."
Prof Ramudhin said using the Humber was efficient, reduced transport time and distance to warehousing and distribution centres which were migrating northwards, and increased resilience in shippers' supply chains. He added that the estuary also offered availability of land, excellent connectivity and a strong logistics skills base, well supported by education and training providers.
Peter Aarosin, Chief Executive of logistics business Danbrit and ports operator RMS Group, said the Humber's key competitive advantage was "location, location, location", as it was positioned at a mid-point in the UK, 200 miles from both London and Edinburgh, and faced Northern Europe. "That means within four hours' drive of the Humber we can serve 75% of the UK's manufacturers, importers and exporters and reach, easily and conveniently, 40 million people," he said. "With shipping lines daily into mainland Europe we can reach 320 million consumers within 24 hours, which is a staggering fact."
Mr Aarosin said the Humber presented a "future proof" alternative to routing freight through the crowded southern roads network, enabling freight carriers to reduce their exposure to likely future taxes aimed at tackling congestion.
John Fitzgerald, Humber Director for Associated British Ports (ABP), said the Humber already handled more trade, in and out, than the Mersey, Tees and Tyne combined. He said the estuary was an asset of national importance and critical to the UK economy. Across the estuary up to £1 billion of investment was being made in ports infrastructure and facilities, including to support the Humber becoming the centre of the burgeoning offshore wind industry.
Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, said an "energy revolution" and political will to rebalance the economy was contributing to "the most exciting times that the Humber and the North of England has had in 50 years".