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Closing the gap to being the UK’s most seamless, sustainable, and tech-enabled port

Port of Dover

3 min read Partner content

The Port of Dover is the port of national significance for passengers, freight, and passenger vehicle trips. This is thanks to Dover’s geographic advantage and the high-efficiency, high-volume, and high-frequency operation that has been built as a result

Today, the port handles:

VALUE
  • £144bn of freight
  • 33% of all UK trade in goods with the EU
  • 6% of UK GDP
VOLUME
  • 59% of ferry journeys between the UK and Europe
  • 32% of all passenger car trips to/from the UK by ferry
  • 31% of all HGVs transiting major UK sea ports

The market remains committed to Dover – a truck would have to miss a staggering 20 ferries to make an alternative route more cost effective.

This means that the Port of Dover can (and must) plan for the future with confidence and ambition.  Indeed, it’s vision is to deliver world-class travel, trading, and visitor experiences, as the UK’s most seamless, sustainable, and tech-enabled port.

The Port is planning for the next 30 years, from clean energy needs, future vessels, digitisation, ferry terminal reconfiguration and enhanced border controls, to port development and land reclamation, and public realm.

Even now, Dover is leading the UK ports industry on decarbonisation, having unveiled targets that put it several years ahead of the field in meeting carbon net-zero commitments.  The Port has already reduced its carbon emissions by 95% since 2007 and is well on the way to achieving its targets of being carbon net zero by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2030.

We are helping to position Britain as a global leader and, having also committed to a third target of becoming the world’s first (high-volume) green shipping corridor, this has now been matched by strong political commitment by the UK and France following the recent Anglo-French summit.

“France and the United Kingdom will join efforts to accelerate the decarbonisation of the transport sector. France and the United Kingdom committed to support the establishment of Green Shipping Corridors (zero-emission maritime routes between two or more ports) between their countries.” - UK-France Joint Leaders’ Declaration, March 2023

Following the summit, the Port of Dover, together with its French sister ports of Calais and Dunkirk, and ferry operator DFDS, signed a Memorandum of Understanding that could see zero-emission electric ferries and charging facilities at the ports by as soon as 2030.  Together with the ongoing support of its two other ferry operators, this will place Dover at the vanguard of decarbonisation within the global maritime industry. 

On this area of work, we are collaborating with key industry and academic partners, with funding support from the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.  However, to achieve maximum benefit for the UK across all aspects of our masterplan, there needs to be the involvement of, and investment in, the whole infrastructure value chain.

As an open organisation, we want to work with you to close the gap towards delivering world-class travel, trade and visitor experiences by exchanging experiences, expertise and ideas.

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