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SHIPS AGENCY


FEATURE SPONSOR


A PARTNERSHIP TO REINVIGORATE THE WATERS AROUND SUNDERLAND


A surge in traffic at a North East port has helped cement a two-year relationship with a major global shipping agent.


Port of Sunderland, which embarked on a masterplan in 2010 to reinvigorate its waters, has seen a rise in the number of vessels sailing into its berths. The increased traffic underlines a growing relationship with Dutch- owned LV Shipping, which opened a local office in Sunderland in March 2012, despite having an operation in neighbouring Teesport.


PORT INVESTMENT


It is expected that, with enhanced handling capabilities following investment in two cranes, one of which is a heavy lift crane, as well as a ro-ro ramp, the port will continue to see the volume and scale of handling projects it fulfils increase.


Matthew Hunt, Director at Port of Sunderland, said that he was pleased the port had been able to validate the shipping agent's decision to open a permanent base on the banks of the River Wear.


CONFIDENCE He said: “LV's move to Port of Sunderland represented a major vote of confidence in the port, given that - at the time - we were relatively unknown as a port of call for a range of projects that we are now in a position to undertake.


“We have seen real changes at Port of Sunderland over the last four years, and we're starting to see that some of the major investment projects we have implemented - like the improved handling facilities we have, and work completed to ensure we have optimised our storage capacity - are adding real value to our offer. That's hugely encouraging for the future for the port itself as well as the guys at LV Shipping.”


VESSELS HANDLED


Since setting up its Sunderland office, LV has worked with Port of Sunderland to welcome vessels including the Maersk Responder for a six-week lay-by; Team Oman, carrying out spooling operations; Peak Bergen, for a steel plate import project; and Sea Hawk, transporting cable reels from Norway on behalf of Reef Subsea.


INFRASTRUCTURE CHANGES As well as investment in equipment that has bolstered the port's appeal, there have been significant changes to its infrastructure, with demolition projects and strategic land acquisitions to ensure the port is in the best shape to attract further investment. It was announced that work will get started on a new river crossing that will improve Port of Sunderland's links to key trunk roads the A1231, A19 and A1 over the next few months, and the port has also seen its rail connections re-established, some 20 years since the lines into the port were decommissioned.


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