The global pandemic did more than just overwhelm our public health resources, it also shut down economic activity and lead to major trading imbalances across the globe. In particular International trade and the container shipping sector saw demand issues and the imbalance lead to delays, increased freight costs and even congestion at a number of North American and European ports. The media focussed on ports, but in truth, issues at our strategic gateways were only a small part of the problem, with certain seasonal goods left in storage and shipping lines frantically heading back to Asia to re stock but leaving empty containers in North American and European port. Indeed the issue certainly dragged on and was compounded by labour shortages, Brexit rule changes and most dramatically with the temporary blockage of the Suez Canal!
Richard Ballantyne joined the British Ports Association in 2007 and became the Chief Executive in 2016. He represents the BPA on a number of industry bodies and is a member of a wide range of government stakeholder groups and international committees. Richard has in-depth expertise in ports, transport and environmental policy matters as well as a wide experience of the legislative process around the UK. He is a Director of Maritime UK, a Trustee of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board charity and was previously a Director of Port Skills and Safety Ltd. Before joining the BPA Richard spent five years at a Westminster political consultancy and was previously an MP’s researcher in the House of Commons.
Tuesday, 24 May 2022
11:00 - 11:45 BST
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