Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visits UK's number one export port

June 22, 2018

ABP Southampton welcomed the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, The Rt Hon Boris Johnson today (Friday June 22) on a visit to the Port of Southampton.

During the visit the Foreign Secretary was able to see first-hand how goods flow smoothly and efficiently through the port where 90% of the trade is with countries outside the European Union.

The Foreign Secretary was taken on a tour of the port on the Harbour Master’s patrol launch and viewed the UK’s number one export, automotive and cruise port from the water.

During the tour he was shown one of the port’s multi-million pound vehicle export terminals which support a wide range of UK vehicle manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover.

The Foreign Secretary also visited Border Force and Port Health facilities at the UK's second largest container terminal operated by DP World Southampton.

ABP CEO James Cooper, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Foreign Secretary to Southampton this morning.

"Southampton is the UK's number one export port, handling exports worth some £40 billion, £36 billion to non-EU countries.

"It is at the heart of supply chains which reach across the world, serving key sectors such as the UK's automotive sector.

"The port is a vital gateway for our nation's global trade; and that role will become even more important in the future."

The Port of Southampton is the UK hub for automotive with 10 lines undertaking 110 calls to 52 ports in 40 countries every month – making it a huge asset for the UK.

In 2017, the port welcomed two million cruise passengers who brought with them a multi-million pound cash injection to the local economy.

ABP Southampton Director, Alastair Welch, said: “This was a great opportunity to show the Foreign Secretary how ports like Southampton efficiently handle global trade, day in, day out.

“This is thanks to the infrastructure, facilities and systems already in place at the port.

"Our £50 million investment programme at the port is designed to make sure British businesses continue to benefit from the best possible access to international markets, benefiting both the regional and national economy.

"Southampton is our nation's gateway to the world, and we have to make sure that that can continue."