PTI recently joined the Port of Dover for a networking lunch, where representatives discussed the port’s critical role within the UK supply chain, recent achievements, and ongoing projects.
The port has positively bounced back this summer, recapturing its pre-pandemic tourist business.
More than 1.7 million passengers have travelled through the port these past few summer months, over half the full-year total for 2021.
Dover has also handled more cars than during the whole of last year, welcoming more than 400,000 cars – compared with a little over 336,000 throughout 2021.
“Dover has always been a key holiday gateway for British families, and we are very pleased with the strength of the recovery we have seen in tourist traffic,” said Doug Bannister, CEO, Port of Dover.
“Whilst post-pandemic numbers were expected to show a significant increase on last year, these latest figures are very encouraging, and it has been a pleasure to see so many leisure travellers choosing the Straits of Dover once again.”
As Brexit kicked in with the introduction of time-consuming border checks, the port has promptly implemented response measures – including a 50 per cent increase in interim French border control booths and adjustments to internal traffic routes.
“The challenges we saw in Dover on the first weekend of the summer season were swiftly resolved and have not recurred,” added Bannister.
The port’s CEO has further discussed potential delays over the EU’s new border control system coming next May, when passengers entering from non-EU countries will be required to register fingerprints and a photo of their passport details.
Bannister forecasts a “tough start” to next summer season as the port is not currently aware of what technology will be in place to carry our checks nor cannot predict waiting times of such procedure.
He warned that any delays could mean “more congestion events than we have had this year”.
On the topic of sustainability, the Port of Dover has set the ambitious of becoming carbon net-zero by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2030, working at a much faster pace than any other port in the UK.
The Dover Harbour Board (DHB) has reduced its carbon footprint by 85 per cent since 2007 and is confident that further reductions will be achieved through, including the coordinated launch of a Green Corridor across the whole port system.
The Port of Dover is a key hub among the UK supply chain, handling 60 per cent of the country’s unitised trade with the European Union and representing the largest trading market for UK importers and exporters.