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29 May 2019

SMI has highly informative port visit to Dover

On 22 May 2019 SMI had its annual ‘away day’. This year we visited the Port of Dover.

Dover is Europe's busiest ferry port. It handles £122 billion worth of trade (17% of the UKs trade in goods); 2.5 million freight vehicle movements; 11.8 million passengers travelling in 2.2 million cars, 80,000 coaches or on foot.

The ferry operations have a departure every 30 minutes. The general cargo operations specialise in perishable freight, and reefer vessels deliver 300,000 tonnes of fresh food imports p.a..  More than 125 Cruise ships call every year, which makes Dover the 2nd biggest cruise port in the UK. It’s a very busy place.

IMG 3238The SMI group were hosted by Richard Christian and Chris Talbot from the port management team, who were very generous with their time. They delivered a fascinating account of the port’s history, an extremely interesting description of the time-critical nature of the ferry operations and an overview of the £250 million marine civil engineering project that is the Dover Western Docks Revival project.

After the presentations and an extensive Q&A session the SMI group was given a tour of the Eastern Docks, which comprise mainly the ferry and general cargo operations. We then visited the other side of the port, the Western Docks, which currently houses the Cruise Terminal and a small marina but is being developed to provide a much larger cruise, general cargo, reefer and logistics facility, together with a leisure/marina complex. Construction is well advanced and some of the new facilities will be open for business later in 2019.

Following the tour our group gathered in the harbour office for a buffet lunch and further discussions (only some of which focused on the planning for Brexit).

The Secretary to the PTG Council thanked the hosts, on behalf of the visiting group, for their warm welcome and the insightful discussion.

 

About The Society of Maritime Industries (SMI):

SMI is the voice of the UK’s maritime engineering and business sector promoting and supporting companies which design, build, refit and modernise ships, and supply equipment and services for all types of commercial and naval ships, digital technology, ports and terminals infrastructure, offshore oil & gas, maritime security & safety, marine science and technology, maritime autonomous systems and marine renewable energy.  

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