Friday, 12 December 2008

Teesport box volumes could fall 15%.;jsessionid=7B5F7E234A620ACB0E5DAD7D3FA02629

PD Ports, whose £330m Northern Gateway container terminal is delayed by the credit squeeze, expects a 15% fall in UK box volumes for 2008 at its Teesport facility as the High Street bloodbath dampens dock throughput.

Group development director Martyn Pellew said: “Christmas is not going so well for the retail trade and this has been reflected in container volumes. Last year we handled 120,000 boxes and I would expect that this year we will be some 15% down on that figure.”

Although PD Ports volume mix has a far greater component of short sea and ro-ro traffic than southern deep sea container ports Southampton and Felixstowe, the figures chime with industry reports of at least a 10% dive in UK box throughput in recent months.

However, PD Ports is keen to emphasise that its existing giant distribution centre for supermarket chain Asda, and the under construction mega-warehouse for Tesco will attract more and more container traffic to the north east port next year.

The ports group says that crude oil volumes, lo-lo and new car traffic are also suffering, but that ro-ro is doing well, possibly benefitting from trade surges caused by the dramatic fall in sterling against the Euro.

The company also reports that its offshore business has seen an upturn, as has its volumes linked to renewable energy.

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