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MMD to get Portsmouth site shipshape


12


MMD Shipping Services - the steverdoring and warehousing arm of Portsmouth port - is to launch a regeneration project on its 22-acre city-centre site. Improvements


include


removing warehouses, creating space for up to 1,200 additional container spaces, an additional 250 reefer points and doubling the terminal’s current capacity, in response to changes in how goods and produce are delivered. Efficient handling of


goods will create spare berth capacity,


allowing more ships


to be handled while improving service to existing customers it says.


MMD director Mike Sellers


explained: “This is an exciting time for the future of MMD. We’re investing in the business in response to the changing needs of our customers and the market more generally. This significant development will provide long term sustainability for MMD.” He added that the recent ten- agreement


year with positive work global


wind turbine manufacturer MHI Vestas “demonstrates the


already underway.”


Council is not involved in its day-to-day running


overwhelmingly and has


recruited a new management team, many of whom previously worked for ABP. They include Mike Sellers, previously at ABP Immingham, who is port director in addition to his MMD role.


The Council is supportive, and


indeed the port makes a major contribution to its revenues. The plan now is to put it on a more commercial footing and market it more aggressively. The port has benefited from investments of around £20m, money which the Council is happy to invest provided it shows a commercial return. Business


development


manager Ian Palacio explains: “Many people in the trade are aware of Portsmouth as a ferry port for Brittany Ferries, but not all know that we have a large general cargo facility, nor that we can cater for ships up to 220 metres long, or perhaps up to 4,000teu.” Portsmouth already handles of


vessels around 2,500teu


on Maersk’s dedicated reefer service from South America, as well as African Express Line (AEL) from West Africa


inbound,


although the port and operators are working to develop return cargoes such as potatoes.


The South Coast alternative


Portsmouth has great potential as an alternative to ports such as Dover or Southampton, Palacio believes. It is almost literally on a motorway junction and it also has excellent access to the south coast


shipping lanes, which


would put it in pole position to attract cargoes such as cars and wheeled


cargo, project


freight or, indeed, adding to its existing staples of ro ro freight or containerised and bulk refrigerated cargo. Many car shippers, for example, might consider Portsmouth as an alternative to Southampton or Bristol, in view of its excellent motorway access and closeness to shipping lanes. Mike Sellers and his team are


also well aware that Portsmouth would be in an ideal position to take the strain off other South Coast ports should post-Brexit problems put gateways such as Dover under pressure: “People know about Brittany Ferries and indeed that does account


Crane capacity MMD general manager Steve


Williams points out that the stevedore has its own fleet of mobile harbour cranes with individual liſting capacities of up to 125 tonnes and which can operate in tandem to provide up to 150 tonnes of liſt. The other major


ongoing


scheme is to level out one of the berth 2 quay to enable it to be used for project cargo as well as cruise liners. A rail terminal is available at nearby Fratton. This was originally developed with the help of a Freight Facilities Grant in 2008 and while container traffic did not take off as hoped, the port is negotiating with Network Rail on a plan to revive it. The port also has its own tug


dedicated tug service, having previously relied on those provided by the adjacent naval base, which has dramatically improved response times. This in itself has proved “a massive advantage in attracting commercial shipping” says Sellers, who adds that the number of enquiries about using the port has gone from a couple or so every month to around 70. Britanny Ferries has ordered


However: “Fresh produce will


remain our core business, but the additional improvements will provide more capacity for general cargo.” Work will get underway in


June and will take about six months. Portsmouth is the UK’s busiest


municipally-owned commercial port but these days the City


and the seasonal Moroccan Express service. Produce business remains important in Portsmouth, despite the decision by Geest Line to switch to Dover aſter a change to its schedule. In fact, says Sellers, the produce traffic that has remained


at


higher margin. The


Portsmouth produce traffic is is


for 60% of our income. That, and fresh produce, are still very much our bread and butter but we are looking at other cargo streams and diversifying.” Portsmouth is in the process


of taking down two sheds on Albert Johnson Quay and levelling the area to create 32 acres of space, opening up the area to speed handling


two new ferries for its Spanish routes which could add around 40,000 trailers a year to the port’s existing 250,000 annual trailer traffic. The Galicia and Salamanca will arrive in 2021 and 2022 respectively. The other current major ro ro


traffic is the Condor service to the Channel Islands. Mike Sellers adds: “We may be


a busy ro ro port, but the nature of our traffic means that we have lots of capacity in-between the ro ro services. It’s all about sweating the assets as much as we can.”


Issue 5 2018 - Freight Business Journal


News Roundup


of container and bulk traffic. This will in turn boost


ship


turn-round times and help Portsmouth attract new services. These could include new feeder services to and from the Continent, or project cargo such as windmill blades, some of which are already beginning to move to Portsmouth from a manufacturing base on the Isle of Wight. Cable reel vessels are another strong possibility.


Airfreight industry veteran Ulrich Ogiermann has joined Russian-owned Volga-Dnepr group as senior vice president for operations and deputy general director for CargoLogicManagement. He will be responsible for the implementation of Volga-Dnepr’s international cargo airlines group strategy and will manage control of the airlines’ annual operational results and operational standards compliance. From 2012 to 2017, he was chief cargo officer for Qatar Airways and, between 2003 and 2011, was president and chief executive of Cargolux Airlines, which he had joined in 1998. He also served as chairman of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) in 2009 and 2010.


IAG Cargo has set up a dedicated customer service team for its highest priority Critical product at its London Heathrow hub. The new team handles operational, reservations and sales issues including last minute and out-of-hours bookings, service enquiries, customer advice and tracking to ensure that all shipments fly as planned. The team will operate between 0600 – 2200 every day, with the potential to extend to a 24 hour service in line with customer demand.


American Airlines says it has become the first US passenger carrier to offer a cargo service in Cuba, albeit a mail rather than a full cargo operation. The service for letters, parcels and express is available on four daily flights from Miami - due to increase to five in October – and on its daily fight from Charlotte. The Miami flights are operated with Boeing 737-800 aircraſt and the Charlotte service by an Airbus A319.


Luſthansa Cargo is to operate two new Boeing 777F freighters. Ordered in May this year, they are due to start operation in February and March 2019. The new aircraſt are expected to replace MD-11F freighters in the long term.


Saudia Cargo has opened a new pharma facility at King Abdulaziz International Airport at Jeddah and has launched a new FlyPharma service. The new 1,010sq m facility conforms to World Health Organization, European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use and local standards. It will focus on products in the +2oC to + 8oC, or +15oC to + 25oC categories.


Emirates reinstated two weekly 777-300ER passenger and bellyhold cargo flights between Luanda and Dubai, bringing the service to five flights per week from 1 July. It will increase to daily from the winter schedule. Flights offer up to 23 tonnes of cargo.


Emirates SkyCargo has signed a memorandum of understanding with the logistics arm of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao, to develop Dubai as one of its planned six global hubs. Cainiao and the airline will work closely to manage e-commerce shipments in the Middle East and other neighbouring regions through Dubai. Cainiao’s vision is to deliver anywhere in China within 24 hours, and across the globe within 72 hours.


Singapore Airlines has renewed its cargo handling contracts with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in London and Paris. At Heathrow, WFS handles cargo on Singapore Airlines’ double daily A380-800 services and its twice-daily 777-300 operations to Singapore. This is in addition to twice-weekly Boeing 747-400 freighters, which depart Heathrow every Thursday and Saturday.


Investment firm Cerberus Capital Management is to acquire Worldwide Flight Services from Platinum Equity. Paris- headquartered WFS is the world’s largest air cargo handler with a presence in 198 airports in 22 countries.


Netherlands-based Broekman Logistics has set up a dedicated global air charter desk, managed by industry veteran Ton Smulders. It will offer solutions to time and capacity driven client requests and guarantees the swiſtest response time to any request for solutions.


///NEWS Air


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