Future vision: commercial port

Ro-Ro trade

The commercial port has excellent Ro-Ro facilities and supporting road connectivity. The short sea passenger and freight markets suffer from excess capacity and, although Ro-Ro growth to 2020 is forecast at 15%, any market share will have to be won from competitor ports. It is anticipated that the increase in fuel prices associated with the emission regulation changes in 2015 will create new opportunities for Ramsgate, as the short sea crossings to the near continent attract existing operators currently trading on longer routes.

The port’s market position is also considerably enhanced by the availability of development land owned by us, with potential for port-centric logistic uses. A strategic rail freight interchange facility linking directly to the high speed and national rail network would also enhance the commercial port’s attractiveness to supply chain users who typically have a requirement for land and excellent inland distribution connections.




For those reasons, the port’s strategy will include the development of Ro-Ro businesses with an expanded focus on the commodity supply chains (i.e. the links between shippers and receivers in the UK and Continent), as well as the ferry lines which form an important part of those links.

The port will pursue a Ro-Ro strategy to exploit the changed market opportunity and it will:

  • validate the Ro-Ro trade’s requirements and test the market demand and potential for a longer term inland port/port-centric logistics/strategic rail freight interchange facility;
  • employ or contract a highly experienced
  • commercial/trade manager to formulate and execute the Ro-Ro and port-centric strategy;
  • identify continental partner ports, principal commodity types to be targeted, and the related UK element of the allied logistics chains, in conjunction with UK-based commodity managers; and
  • plan to achieve maximum water depth/widths in the port and its approaches.

Growth in the commercial port’s Ro-Ro business will utilise spare capacity of existing infrastructure and also conflict least with leisure uses at the Royal Harbour and historic waterfront. 

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