The British Ports Association (BPA) has published research by infrastructure advisory firm Moffatt & Nichol showing that UK ports and terminals have an estimated GBP1.7 billion (USD2.4 billion) of infrastructure investment in the development pipeline.
The research is part of the BPA's 'Port Futures' programme and was undertaken by Moffatt & Nichol.
Mark Simmonds, BPA's policy manager and Port Futures programme coordinator, said: "Ports are doing their bit but we rely on the government to ensure that road and rail connections from the port gate are fit for purpose.
"The terrestrial and marine planning and consenting process is also cumbersome and costly and often holds back or even prevents some sustainable port development. We hope that this report helps the government to develop an accurate picture of the investment that industry is making when developing its policies and making its own investment decisions regarding infrastructure."
According to Simmonds, the research demonstrates that UK ports are investing in new infrastructure, adding that the UK ports industry operates in a competitive and commercial environment, independent of the government.
Joseph Collins of Moffat & Nichol added: "This report focuses on developments which have been announced in the press in the last 12 months and provides a snapshot of the potential scale of UK ports' investment in infrastructure."
He added that while there is no guarantee that all of the projects will be fully realised, it is also likely that there are many more privately financed infrastructure projects planned or underway.
BPA will be writing to the Infrastructure Projects Authority to ensure that officials have a clear picture of industry investment, highlighting significant projects across the country.
There are over a dozen significant port projects listed in the research and demonstrate great optimism in infrastructure development and growth in the port sector, says BPA.