ABP invests in Humber container traffic, despite Brexit

Hull Container Terminal. Source: ABP

Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading port operator, with a network of 21 ports across England, Scotland and Wales, has announced an investment of UKP 50 mln (EUR 58.5 mln) into two container terminals on the Humber estuary – at the ports of Hull and Immingham – in order to more than double their annual capacity up to 550,000 TEU.

For Hull Container Terminal, ABP is purchasing 4 new Liebherr STS cranes, two of which were delivered in 2016 with two more scheduled for delivery in 2018. ABP has committed nearly UKP 30 mln to upgrading the facility. According to ABP’s information, Hull Container Terminal nowadays handles over 100,000 TEU for the shipping lines of Samskip, with sailings to Rotterdam, and MacAndrews servicing the Baltic States.

Immingham Container Terminal, which also took delivery of a new Liebherr crane in 2016, will be further extended with major investment in new equipment and technology to bring its capacity to 300,000 TEU.

In 2016, these two terminals handled almost 262,000 TEU.

ABP’s Humber ports on the east coast of northern England – Grimsby, Goole, Immingham and Hull – make up around half of the company’s revenue and around 13% of all of the UK’s seaborne trade, with Immingham being currently the UK’s largest port, with annual volumes of about 55 mln tonnes. The Humber facilities handle a broad range of cargoes, including vehicles, Ro-Ro, containers, bulks, liquid bulks, forest products, and offer customers close links to markets in mainland Europe and Scandinavia. The Humber ports are also noted for major industrial and logistics facilities they provide for customers, like Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal recently constructed for Drax Group and one of the UK’s largest port developments in 2017 – the UKP 310 mln Green Port Hull project with Siemens.

ABP’s investment in the Humber container terminals is based on figures showing a 41% growth in their volumes since 2013. The company’s business plan 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,” says ABP Humber Director Simon Bird and calls the investment “a huge vote of confidence in the economy of the North of England at this crucial time.”

The Hull and Immingham investments are just a part of ABP’s commitment to UKP 1 bln of investment across all its ports over the next five years. The company has already recently invested UKP 50 mln on a vehicle terminal in Southampton, mainly for export of British manufactured cars. Taken together, this means that ABP has invested around UKP 100 mln since the EU referendum result was announced.

Julia Louppova:
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