FILE PHOTO: Doug Bannister, CEO of the Port of Dover, poses for a portrait in Dover, Britain, December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
December 17, 2020
DOVER, England (Reuters) – Dover, Europe’s busiest trucking port, expects some disruption when Britain finally leaves the European Union’s orbit on Dec. 31 and is already seeing almost record volumes as companies rush to stockpile, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.
“We are expecting that there will be some disruption but the one thing that the Port of Dover has is a proven track record of being able to clear disruption very effectively and get back to normal operations,” Doug Bannister told Reuters in Dover as a ferry loaded behind him and departed for Calais.
Bannister said the port was as best prepared as it could be but that there was uncertainty over how far traders are prepared for customs declarations from Jan. 1.
He said volumes had been cranking for a couple weeks as companies rush to stockpile ahead of any disruption. Volumes reached 10,141 trucks in the latest 24 hour period – or over 100 miles of trucks – compared to a normal volume of around 7,500 to 8,500 a day.
Bannister said he was disappointed by the government’s refusal to fund a project to adapt outbound border controls and said it could affect the port’s preparedness for Brexit.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton)