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Woodland on the up

The local North-East economy seems to be improving, says Peter Wilkinson, branch manager of freight forwarder Woodland’s local office at Seaham. With some good new

contracts secured, teu account business on ocean imports are 40-50% up and turnover is 40% up. Woodland has also secured a major new contract for its growing logistics business. “There is a growing economy, a small but steady rise in business confidence. We are working with nervous, first- time exporters to grow their overseas business and helping

manufacturers to target new export markets,” he says. With seven new staff taken

on in the past 12 months, the office headcount is now up to 19 - all bar one of them local people.

Freightliner to switch Middlesbrough

terminal to Teesport

Freightliner is to switch its services to the Middlesbrough area from its inland site at Wilton to Teesport once PD Ports completes a £3 million new rail terminal. Construction of a new, open

access rail terminal by PD Ports will commence in July and once complete it will handle services from Teesport to Felixstowe and Southampton - but further new routes to Scotland, the Midlands and the North West are expected to follow in line with market demand. The new rail terminal follows

on from the £16.7m container terminal expansion in 2011. PD Ports’ group CEO, David

Robinson, commented: “We have invested significantly in expanding the intermodal services available at the port and the arrival of Freightliner will

provide a greater level of service options, as well as improve our portcentric capability for our customers.” Freightliner MS, Adam Cunliffe,

added: “Freightliner has a long established site at Wilton with a dedicated and committed workforce. Unfortunately we have found it increasingly difficult to attract volume through the site in the face of a strong feeder alternative via Teesport. Volume levels through Wilton have reduced substantially during the recession and the site can no longer compete effectively as it requires an additional road shunt to rival containers that move directly through Teesport. The move to Teesport will increase the opportunity for containers to be moved by rail following completion of the exciting investment by PD Ports.”

Ports in the North-East have picked up a lot of North Sea- related work because the main Scottish hubs of Aberdeen and Peterhead are working at close to capacity, says Steve Gillie, MD of Gillie & Blair. The Newcastle-based ship operator has branched out into project forwarding, using the capacity

Issue 6 2014 - Freight Business Journal

North-East rides oil and gas boom

of both its own coaster vessels as well as those of other operators to move items of oil and gas equipment as well as wind farm equipment. “There has been an upsurge

in North Sea oil and gas production,” Gillie


“And we’ve seen North East ports take work because quay

space in the Scottish ports is at a premium.” Wind farm equipment has also increased. As well as the North-East’s coastal wind farms, there are also blades going for testing at the national Renewable Energy centre in Blyth, north of Newcastle. The Gillie & Blair fleet also


moves bulk loads such as coal, biomass, grain and fertilizer all over Europe, as well as to and from North East ports including Teesport, Hartlepool, Seaham, Tyne and Blyth. Its ships range from 1,300 to 3,700dwt. Local North-East customers include Cleveland Potash and Grainco in South Shields.

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