ABP will double Humber container capacity as part of £50m spend
TOWERING INVESTMENTS: The cranes at Hull Container Terminal.
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 3 Apr 2017
ABP is more than doubling the capacity of its two Humber container terminals in what will amount to a £50 million phased investment in response to continued growth in demand.
Upgrades at Immingham and Hull will allow it to handle 550,000 units, the company has confirmed.
The kitty includes the three large crane installations completed in 2016 across both banks – equating to around £15 million – as well as a further additions of equipment and technology, with two more cranes set for Hull in 2018.
It comes as Britain's largest sector event, Multimodal, launches in Birmingham.
ABP Humber’s investment case is based on figures showing that across the dual container terminals there has been a 41 per cent growth in volumes since 2013. Improved customer service, quayside handling and reduced waiting times for hauliers has also been flagged up.
The business plan the company is working to anticipates significant continued growth in this area and discussions with current and potential customers have given ABP confidence that this trend looks set to continue in a post-Brexit economy.
“We have seen significant growth at our Humber container terminals in recent years and all the indications are that this will continue despite Brexit,” said ABP Humber director Simon Bird, pictured, who took back the Hull terminal from PD Ports in May last year.
“We anticipate growth in container shipping in the coming years and ABP in the Humber is keen to position itself to take advantage of that growth. This is a huge vote of confidence in the economy of the North of England at this crucial time.”
Last month shipping line A2B increased its presence at Immingham’s Container Terminal from nine to 11 calls per week, and in a major interview, port manager Mark Frith underlined the growth potential there.
Humber operations make up around half of ABP’s revenue and roughly 13 per cent of all of the UK’s seaborne trade.
While being situated in the middle of the country is a huge benefit, it is also one of Europe’s best-connected roll-on roll-off and lift-on lift-off hubs, with a multitude of services providing links to a high number of destinations.
ABP is also looking closely at the possibility of new Free Trade Zones post-Brexit. These could allow for goods and parts to be imported, manufactured and re-exported from the designated zone without incurring the usual import procedures or tariffs.
“Brexit represents opportunities for port-based, export led manufacturing, particularly if the Government was able to introduce Free Trade Zones at ports,” said Mr Bird. “This would provide great opportunities for customers to reduce costs for inbound materials and also take advantage of spare capacity in containers, trucks and ships, to re-export.”