Fearing that the usual sea links with Europe will be disrupted following Brexit, shipping companies are researching alternative routes into the UK. Ports in the North of England say they are well-equipped to handle extra freight volumes.
A shift from Dover could be accommodated easily as there is spare capacity on routes across the North Sea. A consultant calculates that as much as a fifth of container trade from Dover and the Channel tunnel could move to alternative crossings.
Approximately 90 per cent of containers from deep-sea crossings enter the UK through ports in south of England, but more than half of that cargo is destined for places north of Birmingham. Increased freight traffic to the Northern ports such as Goole could have a positive knock-on effect on the surrounding areas.