Monday, January 10, 2011

Port Group Issues Combined Container And Bulk Freight Trading Figures

Forth Ports Describe Market Sector as 'Robust'
Shipping News Feature

UK – Forth Ports plc run a range of ports throughout Scotland in Grangemouth, Rosyth, Dundee, Burntisland, Methil and Leith plus managing the Port of Tilbury and having interests in oil marine terminals and the provision of specialist marine related logistic services. As such the figures released covering trading to the end of 2010 give a view of the country’s shipping related development in the past 12 months.

Forth say the highlights of the year have been a continuation of strong trade in the sector, progress made toward renewable energy becoming an integral part of port operations, a reduction of the group’s net level of debt and an underlying profit before tax for the full year in line with expectations.

The company statement welcomes the fact that the recent severe weather which decimated large parts of Scotland’s supply chain did not affect the trading outlook despite having to overcome the obvious operational challenges. Grangemouth saw liquid bulk cargoes decline 4% year on year against 2009 whilst TEU’s were down 7% as container trade suffered but other Scottish ports performed strongly, particularly as regards bulk cargoes.

Tilbury saw container freight volumes recover strongly in the final six months but this wasn’t sufficient to quite lift the annual turnover to the previous year’s totals. Tilbury Container Services is one third owned by Firth Ports and volumes there were up over 10% on the previous annual total. RoRo traffic and dry bulk and timber also recorded significant increases in tonnage.

The group continue with their plan to develop their site at Tilbury and await the decision from Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation on their proposals for the 65 acres the group owns there.

Photo : RRS Discovery, the last three master wooden ship built in the UK (1901) for Scott and Shackleton’s first British National Antarctic Expedition, pictured in her home port of Dundee.