The Humber is one of the busiest and fastest-growing trading areas in Europe. Almost one quarter of the UK's seaborne trade passes through the Humber; this includes 25 per cent of the country's natural gas and 25 per cent of its refined petroleum products. Consequently, the Humber is a vital component of the country's wellbeing and is a major contributor to the UK's economy.
Associated British Ports (ABP) is the UK's leading ports group and owns and operates 21 ports around the country. ABP has four ports on the Humber:- Hull, Goole, Grimsby and Immingham, and these ports are seen as the region's engine for economic growth. They play an important role in the exploitation of new business opportunities, enable expansion into new markets and attract significant amounts of inward investment.
The ports offer a major geographical advantage with unrivalled access into the UK. With excellent road and rail links, some 40 million consumers and over 60 per cent of the country's manufacturing capacity lies within a four-hour drive of the Humber. There are also excellent links to Europe with crossing times to the Continent as short as 10 hours. With this combination of benefits it is not surprising that the estuary is such an important centre for trade and handles over 30,000 international shipping movements each year.
ABP, Humber Estuary Services relies on revenue raised by conservancy dues on vessels entering the Humber from sea to enable it to maintain a safe and environmentally-sustainable harbour for the benefit of all estuary users.
A further charge is raised against vessels utilising the services of authorised ABP pilots or those of a Pilotage Exemption Certificate (PEC) holder.