Chris Grayling MP
The secretary of state for transport said the port is ‘crucial to the long-term growth of the UK’.
Secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling MP was given an insight into the workings of the UK’s number one port for exports when he visited the Port of Southampton on Thursday (3 Aug).
Grayling saw first-hand operations at the UK’s largest vehicle handling port, where the volume of vehicles handled is set to grow to 950,000 in 2017.
He also viewed the port’s two new vehicle handling facilities which are currently under construction in Southampton and part of a £50m investment in handling UK vehicle exports.
Every year the Port of Southampton handles £40bn worth of exports and in 2017 will welcome 1.9 million passengers joining cruise ships for destinations across the globe.
Grayling said: "I was delighted to visit the Port of Southampton and see for myself the impressive investment going into it.
“Ports like Southampton are crucial to the long-term growth of our economy as we work to expand international trade over the next few years.
"The government is continually investing in road and rail connections to help improve the logistics at ports across the UK.
“This will continue to be a key priority this year as we look forward to September’s London International Shipping Week, where we will display the best of the UK’s maritime sector.”
Director Alastair Welch added: “It was a great opportunity to demonstrate to the secretary of state the vital role the Port of Southampton plays in the UK economy, offering access to international markets for UK businesses and manufacturers.
“On the quayside in Southampton the minister was able to see British manufactured goods arriving by train and being loaded onto ships ready for export all over the world.
“We also highlighted ABP’s ongoing commitment to investing in our 21 ports around Britain, and to working with our customers and the government to help make sure trade and exports can continue to grow in the years ahead.”