10.3.2021 | Ports

freeport east reaction

Region’s movers and shakers give their reaction to the Freeport East status. 

Following the Chancellor’s Budget announcement last week giving Freeport East the green light, Porttalk caught up with some of the region’s movers and shakers to hear their thoughts on what they think it will mean for business.

Independent ports, logistics and supply chain consultant Murray Gibson of Murray Gibson Associates says:

“The announcement by the Chancellor of Freeport East’s successful bid is welcome news, not just for our ports where Felixstowe, in particular, has always led the field across the UK ports’ industry for investment, innovation and future-proofing, but by the community throughout the region as a

“Each of the eight new UK Freeports has an effective boundary of 45km (29 miles), within which have been identified a limited number of tax sites and customs sites. These offer different advantages to inward investors, developers and operators seeking to establish and grow their businesses. Whether in manufacturing, logistics, new technologies or e-retailing, these sites will underpin the growth of our regions’ ports for many generations to come, creating an estimated 13,500 jobs and contributing positively to the local economies of North Essex and South Suffolk.

“The Port One Logistics Park at Gt Blakenham has been nominated as a Customs site for Freeport East. Subject to final HMRC approval, it will provide current and future tenants with a range of simplified trade procedures and duty deferment options.”


Miles Vartan of Vartan Consultancy says:

“We are delighted to hear the news that the Freeport East bid has been successful, taking advantage of all that Felixstowe and Harwich’s Ports have to offer.

“By utilising the wide range of deep-sea and short-sea calls to the region, new investors to the UK will be able to take advantage of working with a well-linked port that has land which is open to developing possibilities along with a package of tax reliefs to help drive jobs, growth and innovation. We have already been contacted by a potential client who wants to create a new manufacturing entity in the UK. The trick for Freeport East is to ensure they are open to these approaches to secure a committed project.”


Graeme Connor, managing director of Imorex, adds:

“Without doubt, Freeport status will bring a much-needed boost to the local economy. The shortage of warehouse space locally means approvals like this are imperative if Felixstowe is to compete with more industrial ports. We will be watching with interest the effect this new status will have on current trade.”

Image credit: Pat Stockley Photography