Mark Whitworth, ceo of Peel Ports, is sanguine about what Brexit means for his business. With Theresa May, the British prime minister, hopeful of getting a quick trade deal with the US, Whitworth is looking west for more business.
“As the UK’s largest transatlantic port, Liverpool is extremely well placed to capitalise on any increased trade with countries west of the UK, including the US, Canada and South American nations,” he tells Maritime CEO.
Similarly, Peel Ports has just signed a memorandum of understanding with the Panama Canal operators which will offer significant opportunities for new container trade routes between Asia and Western Europe.
On Brexit, Whitworth is adamant the glass is half full.
“In the short term,” he says, “there may be some political and economic uncertainty which may impact trade; but in the medium- to long-term, there will be greater opportunities to improve bilateral agreements between the UK and major trading nations.”
Nevertheless, it is a fact that world trade has slowed down, but this has not stopped Peel Ports – and many other ports around the world – from spending vast sums to improve infrastructure of late. Why?
“Port operators need to adapt, invest and futureproof their offerings, otherwise they will lose market share to other ports or geographies,” Whitworth reckons.