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18


Issue 6 2014 - Freight Business Journal


///UK NORTHEAST


Steel and boxes keep North-East ports busy


New container services and terminal developments for steel and intermodal containers are brightening the outlook on Teesside and Tyneside.


Bulking up on Teesside


Having finished last year on a healthy 37 million tonnes, this year PD Ports’ Teesport is on course to breach the 40mt barrier, says group CEO David Robinson. Oil and steel are the main reasons for the strong performance, he says. North


Sea oil, landed on


Teesside and then re-exported, staged a comeback aſter a soſt


couple of years and the local steel slab plant is now in its third year of operation since being revived by Thai-owned firm SSI, and has just moved its six millionth tonne since April 2012. “That’s way in excess of any other steel handling terminal in the UK,” Robinson points out. Bulk traffic as a whole – including steel slabs, grain and


traffic handled at PD Ports’ smaller sister port of Hartlepool – totalled around 4.5m tonnes. As well as limestone exports, Hartlepool handles traffic for Huntsman Tioxide, although much of its business these days is support work for the offshore sector. To further bulk up the business,


as it were, PD Ports has also started work on deepening the berths at Tees Dock in Teesport, from 11 to 14.5 metres. This will increase the size of ship than can be handled from a panamax (around 80,000dwt)


to


(125,000dwt). For


the future, mini-capesize biomass is


expected to become a major traffic, especially now that UK Government policy on subsidies for renewable fuels has been clarified, although the final green light is still awaited from Brussels.


Wallenius’ Tyne call could be first of many


Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) said that the Port of Tyne could easily be added to its Asia to Europe schedule if there is continued demand, aſter the ro ro specialist line recently completed a shipment there. WWL brought a shipment of construction equipment into Tyne on its MV Tristan on 16 July from various loading ports in Asia via the Suez canal and Zeebrugge (Belgium). Port of Tyne chief operating


officer, Steven Harrison, said: “This has been introduced to meet the demands of plant and heavy equipment manufacturers.


In addition, it shows future


possibilities of WWL providing flexibility and solutions for companies wishing to trade directly from the North East to various overseas markets. ” WWL UK managing director,


Paul Reeves added: “WWL’s regular RoRo service from Asia to Europe via the Suez and Panama canals is now enhanced by the possibility of a direct vessel calling at Tyne.” The port, he said “is connected to solid inland distribution services to the entire UK market and Ireland thanks to the strong presence and service capabilities of WWL


ALS, responsible for the WWL UK inland network services.”


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