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19th March 2020 - News Articles

Open letter from the Chief Executive

The Port of Dover is the UK's trade conveyor belt. We handle £122 billion of trade and 17% of the UK's trade in goods - the very goods that flow right across the UK to keep supermarket shelves full of the essential items the British public need and our fast-paced supply chains operational.

We are all being challenged by the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, and for us we know it is essential that the Port of Dover continues to provide this critical link – people up and down the UK are counting on us for the goods, medicines and resources they need.

We have been at the front line of major national and international challenges so many times before.  The ash cloud crisis, for example, saw us at the forefront of the response helping hundreds of thousands of passengers trying to reach destinations not only in Europe but also as far as Africa and the Far East.  This time we will also step up to help ensure that vital goods flow to their destination across Britain.

As outlined by the Prime Minister and his advisers, this situation could go on for several months.  It will be a marathon, not a sprint.  Yet as supermarket shelves need constantly filling and re-filling, each and every day, it will always be a sprint for the supply chains and they will always rely on the speed and capacity of our operation that among ports is unique to Dover. 

I can think of no other time in recent history when the role we, our ferry operators and the whole cross-Channel system here in Kent play in feeding people in the North, the Midlands, London and the South was more important.  That is why the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself this week cited Dover as of particular importance to the country at this critical time.

It is often at a time of significant challenge that we reach out and reconnect with our families and those that matter who may be far away.  This is such a time and we at the Port of Dover are dedicated to meeting the challenge at hand, so that we reach the rest of our British family by delivering the goods they require when needed.

We have planned across the business to ensure that we can look after our customers, the nation and its trade.  Our employees, business partners, contractors, suppliers and local agencies all have high attention on keeping themselves safe, following the advice of the Government and Public Health England to provide this crucial lifeline link.

As we all embrace a new reality, we remain one team focused on maintaining that lifeline.

We are all in it together and together we are all in to keep Britain’s trade flowing.

Doug Bannister

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