To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to learn lessons from the recent blockage of the Suez Canal in the context of strategic planning for the UK’s future maritime trade.
20 April 2021
The Department has been working closely with maritime operators throughout the pandemic, and in particular major shipping lines and ports regarding the unprecedented global surge in container freight that was experienced at the end of 2020 and early 2021. The lessons learned from that meant that there was a swift response across Government Departments to assess impacts on supply chains following the Suez incident. The Department will continue to engage with shipping lines and container ports. It is clear that whilst some disruption is hard to avoid, industry has established operational plans and flexibility to enable them to respond to crisis and maintain continuity of trade, as evidenced by the re-routing of vessels around the Cape of Good Hope