Ambitious vision set out for Innovative new Freeport in East of England

Ambitious vision set out for Innovative new Freeport in East of England

25.11.2020 | Ports

Ambitious vision set out for Innovative new Freeport in East of England


Public and private sector leaders have set out their joint vision for a new Freeport on the East Coast.


Freeport East would focus on the Port of Felixstowe and Harwich International Port – both owned by Hutchison Ports – and be a strategic hub linking UK importers and exporters with suppliers and customers across the globe, situated as it is at the heart of vital trading routes to Asia and Northern Europe.

Pioneering the next generation of Ports which will drive and support the government’s local and national regeneration strategies, Freeport East will build on the existing ports’ excellent road and rail links to the Midlands and the North of England – the destination for almost a third of Felixstowe’s current throughput.

It will create a manufacturing, green energy and innovation hub that capitalises on the unique qualities of the Eastern Region, the latest advances in digital technology and the Internet of Things, the excellent credentials of the partners involved and the as-yet untapped technological and scientific centres on Freeport East’s doorstep. With its existing links to the clean energy sector, such as the Galloper Windfarm maintenance base at Harwich, Freeport East is ideally positioned to lead on the decarbonisation of the country’s energy needs.

Bringing these elements together, alongside the ports’ situation at the heart of European and global trade flows, will deliver a strong economic proposition capable of boosting UK PLC in these difficult times, and to support growth plans of the future throughout the UK.

The vision has been set out jointly by business and local government leaders from Essex, Suffolk, and the wider region, and work is now underway to develop a detailed bid following the publication of the Government’s Freeports prospectus last week.

George Kieffer, Chairman of the Project Board, said: “I am excited to be leading such a professional and expert team to drive forward a bid that will attract major investment and lead to increased economic prosperity not only locally, but nationally.

“The area is home to some of the most deprived wards in the UK and by bringing lasting regeneration and creating new job opportunities to the region the project will support the government’s levelling-up agenda.

“We look forward to working with universities in the region to make Freeport East a hotbed of innovation in the technologies of the 21st Century.”

Mr Kieffer added his thanks for the strong support already received from MPs in the region.

Clemence Cheng, Executive Director of Hutchison Ports and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, added: “The combination of the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich offers the UK a unique opportunity in the post-Brexit world, sitting as they do at the main junction point between the UK’s principal trade route to and from the Far East and key freight links to and from northern Europe.

“Together with the leading-edge technical skills that come with the partnership with universities, including the University of Cambridge, this combination can serve as a powerful magnet to bring new investment into the UK and in particular to the area around this unique junction point.”
Detailed plans will be set out in a formal bid document.

A video launching the bid can be viewed here:

Is KAP fit for Purpose?

Is KAP fit for Purpose?

24.11.2020 | Industry matters

Is KAP fit for purpose?


As a European freight forwarding specialist, we have had a keen eye on Brexit for four years now, and finally, it is all coming to a head. At least we are prepared. However, we can’t say the same for the facilities we will be required to use.

Jordon was asked by the Border & Protocol Delivery Group (BPDG) to form part of an initial group tasked with understanding the advice the BDPG was preparing for hauliers in relation to the UK government’s capacity initiative ‘Check an HGV is ready to cross the border’, formerly known as Smart Freight, for vehicles to obtain a Kent Access Permit (KAP) en-route to Dover or Folkestone.

Friday 6th November saw key members of the Jordon operations, customs and sales teams assembled to meet with members of the BPDG to provide feedback and outline where we believed there were issues with the process.

While we spent 1.5 hours working our way through the document, much of it wasn’t clear until we were guided to paragraphs where the often-ambiguous answer lay.

In a time-sensitive industry where vast amounts of information and administration are suddenly going to be introduced, a straightforward A-B shipment is going to become an administrative nightmare for all involved, and the KAP simply adds to that burden.

In this case, the haulier, probably EU based and already struggling to understand new customs responsibilities, now must complete this online form for each outbound movement. Whilst the instructions are already tricky to understand; you will also need to sign up for a government gateway ID! In your cab? Then you must provide the legally binding information, of where this responsibility lies is up for debate. Hauliers will be fined £300 for misinformation.

The meeting gave us the opportunity to feedback on how we believe the system could be improved. However, Brexit, the sheer number of vehicles involved, and all the new red tape that leaving the EU entails, means there is no easy workable solution going forward. Maybe sight of a working GVMS (Goods Vehicle Movement System) would have thrown up some ideas, but alas it won’t be ready in time.

To us, it feels like a system devised to stick a wet plaster on the deeper problem, caused by a lack of engaging with industry to get this crucial border element right. As we speak the rushed 27-acre lorry park in development in Kent sits flooded. Who could have predicted that?!

By Jon Swallow, Jordon 

Tax expert dispels common myths about VAT once Brexit transition period ends

Tax expert dispels common myths about VAT once Brexit transition period ends

24.11.2020 | Industry matters

VAT once Brexit period ends


With the Brexit transition period concluding at the end of December it has left SME’s asking what will happen with VAT when the transition period is up?


Andrew Diver, head of taxation at accountants Beatons Group, dispels a few VAT myths.

Will the UK cease VAT as a result of leaving the EU?

No, but the UK VAT and EU VAT will be different.
The UK government will be able to charge different rates for products and services and the UK will not be able to use any of the simplification arrangements in the EC such as MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop).

If my business provides services to customers based in countries in the EU, will there be no VAT?

No, if you are supplying services to a non-business customer in the EU then potentially you will be liable to UK VAT on the value of the supply.

Does my business need to register for VAT in the different EU countries we have customers?

If the customers are businesses registered for VAT in the local country (and you need to keep evidence of this) then you will be able to reverse charge the supply.
If they are not registered for VAT in their country, then you may need to register.

Will businesses based in the EU need to register for UK VAT?

Potentially. It will depend upon whether they supply to UK businesses and whether those UK businesses are VAT registered and can benefit from the reverse charging. If not, they may need to register for UK VAT.

Is it the end of EC Sales lists and Intrastat returns?

No, while EC sales lists will cease from January 1, 2021, Intrastat returns will be required for those importing goods from the EU to aid tracking those deferring customs declarations.
Businesses in Northern Ireland will need to continue Intrastat returns up until 2025 under the Northern Ireland Protocol, but those businesses only exporting to the EU (no imports) will not need to make any Intrastat returns.

Andrew Diver added: “This information is for guidance only and would advise firms to seek full tax advice specific to their circumstances before the end of the transition period.”

By Andrew Diver, Beatons Group

Pallet network growth for Lombard Shipping

Pallet network growth for Lombard Shipping

04.11.2020 | Shipping

Pallet network growth for Lombard Shipping


The last few years have seen Lombard Shippping’s pallet division grow significantly and 2020 has further built on that success. 


This year has seen the Ipswich pallet network business increase by 60%. During lockdown the team really pulled together, working in shifts to enable distancing and separation between team members, while delivering on the increased demand for their services. The department has gone from strength to strength and now handles in excess of 2,500 pallets a week.

This growth has led to a substantial recruitment drive seeing seven new HGV drivers and two forklift drivers added to the team. The increase in work has additionally led to three new office roles (with one currently being recruited for). Harley Wenman has also been promoted to the role of pallet network manager, overseeing all pallet operations into the different networks, ensuring efficiency across the teams.

For more information about Lombard Shipping visit 

New lease for Express Freight Services at Port of Ipswich

New lease for Express Freight Services at Port of Ipswich

16.11.2020 | Ports



The Port of Ipswich, owned and operated by Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading and best-connected port operator, has signed a new lease with Express Freight Services Ltd, which will provide secure vehicle storage and office space for the company.



The new lease covers a 1.34 acres compound located at the Port of Ipswich’s West Bank Terminal. ABP undertook a range of works, including re-surfacing the yard, line painting and installed new security fencing in order to prepare the site in accordance with the highest standards, so that new offices could be installed.

Andrew Baxter, Managing Director at Express Freight Services, said: “We are pleased to have secured a new lease at the West Bank Terminal. The improved site has enabled us to invest in our office and welfare facilities and has given us the scope to expand our business in the future. We look forward to continuing to work with ABP.”

The Port of Ipswich is a short sailing time from the North Sea shipping lanes and is located less than a mile (1.6km) from the town centre. The major trunk roads A14 and A12 are both within easy reach and provide connections to the M25, M11 and the Port of Felixstowe.

Andrew Harston, ABP Wales and Short Sea Ports Director, said: “We are delighted to announce this new lease with Express Freight Services, who are a leading road transport services provider in the area. We look forward to continuing to provide the well-connected, secure space they need to support their business.”

The ports’ West Bank currently offers more than 30 acres of secure open storage space, which is ideal for port-centric warehousing and logistics, multi-use warehousing, storage facilities and office accommodation.

For more information about Associated British Ports (ABP) and Express Freight Services Ltd visit or

Image: West Bank Terminal at ABP’s Port of Ipswich’