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PD Ports has unveiled plans to launch a new innovative digital platform to enhance the national and international competitiveness of the River Tees.

The platform, which aims to promote the strengths of the River Tees and support businesses that rely on the river to trade, is part of the Statutory Harbour Authority’s continued commitment to work with customers and key stakeholders to maximise investment and job opportunities across the region.

The River Tees is the lifeblood of the Tees Valley, providing businesses throughout the North and across the UK with essential access to global markets. As part of the only continuous net exporting region in goods in the UK, Teesport is the only major port in England that handles more exports than imports.  It is therefore a vital asset for achieving the ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse and Government, re-balancing the economy and turbocharging exports to realise the vision of Global Britain.

Frans Calje, PD Ports CEO, explained how the new digital hub is a positive step forward in the Statutory Harbour Authority’s continued commitment to supporting future trade growth and further strengthening Teesport’s position as the UK’s northern gateway for international trade.

“Teesport has a proven track record in attracting large-scale inward investment. We want to build on that success and do even more to accelerate and increase opportunity whilst building resilient and sustainable infrastructure to support that growth.

“We are currently working with customers and key partners to develop plans that build on the strengths of the River. The launch of this new digital platform will be a vital tool that will allow fellow river users, potential investors and key stakeholders, to access a wealth of information about the river’s operations, its world-class infrastructure and excellent transport connections. The site will also showcase potential career pathways, promoting job opportunities and apprenticeships.”

Julie Underwood, Executive Director of International Trade at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, praised the sentiment behind the platform’s development and said, “This new digital platform, led by PD Ports, is a great initiative that will truly showcase the businesses along the River Tees and enable greater collaboration for the positive promotion of the river.”

Andy Koss, Head of Sembcorp Energy UK, said, “The River Tees continues to offer our customers at Wilton International – and the investors we seek to bring here – a quick and easy route for getting raw materials and finished products in and out of the area and particularly into Europe.

“It is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the area’s industrial infrastructure and will play a key part in the growth of the Tees Valley for decades to come. That is why developments such as the platform that PD Ports has announced are absolutely key in ensuring that the region remains globally competitive and the transformation of the river continues.”

Nikki Sayer, Commissioner for the Maritime Skills Commission and founder of the North East School of Shipping, has also backed PD Ports’ plans for the digital hub saying, “I am extremely pleased to hear that PD Ports will shortly launch this new site, which will also showcase the fantastic career opportunities available on the River Tees.

“This will be an excellent tool that can be used not only to help raise awareness of the Maritime industry with the young people in the Tees Valley but to also highlight to potential investors, the commitment this region has to upskilling our future generation.”

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