Making the most of trust ports

The Department for Transport has today published a report on potential reform in the trust port sector in England and Wales. The report was prepared for the Department by independent consultants Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The report was commissioned to help the Department understand how the potential of trust ports can be fully exploited and to recommend ways in which they can improve their accountability and financial performance.

In a Parliamentary Written Statement, Shipping Minister Stephen Ladyman highlighted the report's key findings. They include the following:
* the trust model retains a legitimate role within a mixed ports sector;
* larger trust ports operate on a sound commercial basis but their financial performance sometimes falls short of the private sector;
* trust ports should do more to identify and account for use of their profits - what the report terms their 'stakeholder dividend';

Dr Ladyman said:
"The study represents a valuable contribution to the debate on the trust port sector. The Government will bring forward new guidance for trust ports in England and Wales later this year, following further discussion with the industry based on these recommendations."