Friday, November 28, 2014

UK Freight Hubs Have Good News for Christmas with Record Container Shipments and New Investment

Forth Ports English and Scottish Facilities Both Happy for Different Reasons
Shipping News Feature

UK – Goods news from two of Britain’s ports this week with a sizeable investment in one and a record throughput of freight in another. Firstly the Port of Tilbury has announced a new agreement with L&G Forest Products to create a 70,000 square foot timber handling hub at the port serving the Grafton Group and others throughout England. Tilbury has a long history of timber handling going back to the first pre-container days of the port with facilities such as the old West Africa Terminal handling many thousands of tonnes of hardwoods in the 1950’s and 60’s.

L&G, part of the Grafton Group which owns the Buildbase depots in the UK, has chosen Tilbury to consolidate its timber distribution alongside its panel products operation. The increase in demand from Buildbase has promoted the move to create a bespoken timber hub where product is shipped in, stored at the port and then distributed around the country. Commenting on the new hub, Paul Dale, Senior Asset Manager at the Port of Tilbury said:

“We’ve worked with L&G for a number of years to develop a timber distribution centre which suits their business and delivers for their customers. Tilbury is the perfect location for L&G with our strong geographical location and excellent supply chain connections. Tilbury handles in excess of 3 million tonnes of forest products each year and we look forward to sharing our excellent customer service with L&G.”

Meanwhile further north the Port of Grangemouth, Scotland’s largest container port, has handled a record breaking 4,200 containers this week, surpassing their previous record by over 200. The busy pre-Christmas period for the container business has been boosted by a strong potato seed season and an increase in the drinks market of whisky and white spirit cargoes.

Grangemouth, owned by Forth Ports as is Tilbury, is Scotland's largest container port and handles in excess of 150,000 containers per annum hosting regular container services with frequent daily sailings to Rotterdam, Antwerp, Felixstowe and Hamburg. Derek Knox, Port Manager at Grangemouth, said:

“We are delighted that the container business in Grangemouth is thriving. We have had a busy week and the team has worked hard with our customers to make sure we deliver our usual efficient service.”

Photo: A lorry carrying timber northward over Tower Bridge in a time before VOSA.