Tuesday, October 5, 2021

New Container Park for Empty Boxes Opens in Time for Christmas Rush

Global Problem Faced with Expansion of Terminal Facilities
Shipping News Feature

UK – There have been tales of woe from around the globe for the past few months telling of the number of empty shipping containers which are 'in the wrong place', causing some ports immense problems as stock built up clogging the throughput of trade.

With no power to facilitate the swifter movement of the boxes one company which has faced up to it in time for the peak pre-Christmas season is DP World's Southampton facility which has just opened an 11.5 acre park to meet the anticipated demand for space.

The mismatch of boxes against capacity on the lines has resulted in a slew of problems, primarily detention and demurrage charges and the Dubai headquartered group says this latest facility will relieve pressure on its customers and be a critical factor in keeping supply chains moving at a time when dwell times at terminals across the UK have increased. Ernst Schulze, UK Chief Executive of DP World, comments:

“The new £3 million empty park is part of DP World’s ongoing £40 million investment this year at Britain’s second largest container terminal, designed to take it up to the next level as a smart logistics hub, which will provide customers with speed, security, reliability and flexibility. We now have 25% more storage capacity at Southampton than before which will enable us to maintain productivity and service levels for the vital next few months and beyond.

“Operating two ports at Southampton and London Gateway means that we offer unrivalled flexibility and choice to customers. Volumes can be switched quickly and easily between locations, giving customers more control over their supply chains and increasing security of supply for critical goods coming into the UK. No other logistics business can offer this level of flexibility and certainty.”

Schulze says Southampton has already benefitted this year from the dredging and widening of berths to ensure continued accommodation of the world’s biggest ships and a £1.5 million extension of a quay crane rail by 120 metres to ensure the world’s biggest cranes can service the entire terminal.

In the first half of 2021, a record volume of cargo was handled at DP World’s two UK ports, with Southampton seeing throughput between January and June of 995,000 TEU, the second best first half ever, contributing to a combined UK total of 1,883,000 TEU. Southampton and London Gateway have additionally both been awarded Freeport status as part of Solent Freeport and Thames Freeport respectively, which they say further cements the critical role of both logistics hubs in the UK’s international trade.