DP World have announced that Southampton, Britain’s second largest container terminal, will be benefitting from a major investment which will raise its significance as a premier international freight and logistics hub.
DP World Southampton is a part of DP World and a leading global provider of smart logistics. One of their two UK deep water ports were awarded Freeport status by the government last month. The new £40 million investment intended to improve infrastructure will provide customers with increased speed, security, reliability and flexibility. Changes to infrastructure will include:
- Dredging and widening of the berths to ensure accommodation of the world’s largest ships. With the partnership of Associated British Ports, this project was completed before Easter and will provide flexibility for their customers with immediate effect.
- An investment in a new class of eleven hybrid straddle carriers totalling £10million. The vehicles are used to lift containers moved by the quay cranes and then service onward forms of transport via road and rail. This new class of machines will be the most sustainable in the world consuming up to 40% less fuel than its diesel-electric counterparts.
- Currently £3m is planned to be invested in the redevelopment of the yard for the storage and delivery of empty customer containers. This will increase capacity of the yard by 25% on completion, creating more flexibility for port users.
- A new Border Control Post (BCP) which includes UK Border Force and Port Health inspection facilities. This will enable multiple government agencies to improve the time they are taking on cargo checks entering the country.
- A £1.5m quay crane rail extension of 120 metres to ensure that all berths at the terminal will be serviced. In addition, other quay cranes will either be relocated or decommissioned to maximise efficiency, speed quayside loading and save time.
Ernst Schulze, Chief Executive of DP World in the UK said: “DP World Southampton is the most productive port in Britain, turns container trucks around faster than any of its competitors and at 30% also has the highest proportion of its containers moved by rail.”
“At DP World we think ahead to create smarter trade solutions and this £40m programme of investment will ensure that our Southampton terminal continues to grow as a major freight and logistics hub. Our aim is to partner in our customers’ business success and we are already seeing a surge of interest from companies which want to take advantage of the customs zone and tax benefits resulting from Southampton and London Gateway becoming Freeports.”
This investment into the port of Southampton is a welcome arrival to the logistics industry that has faced some gruelling battles with the COVID-19 pandemic and Britain totally breaking away from the European Union at the end of last year.
According to Logistics UK’s 2020 report the logistics industry made an astounding effort to deliver for the nation that year despite setbacks including HGV driver shortages, economic and financial hardship and significant disruption to operations.
Elizabeth de Jong, Logistic UK’s Director of Policy commented: “Despite facing significant operational and financial disruption since March 2020, the logistics industry has stepped up to ensure it continues to supply the nation with the goods it needs, including food supplies and PPE. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted how critical our industry and its people are to the success of the economy; Logistics UK is proud of the way in which its member businesses, and the wider industry, have worked together to service the needs of the nation during this critical time.”
“To deal with the COVID-19 crisis, logistics businesses managed risks by scaling back operations, taking work back in-house and reducing their reliance on third party services; many also focused activity on their core fleet of vehicles to save costs.”