Tuesday, 5 May 2009

PD Ports bullish as buyers circle


Growing interest in the port-centric logistics concept has led senior PD Ports executives to predict bullish 2009 volumes as possible buyers circle the company, now officially for sale.
Commercial director Graham Wall predicted a 27% growth in container volumes at Teesport in the financial year, which begins on 1 July, despite the recession. The port has seen an 8% decline this year.
The company expects the new Tesco distribution centre at Teesport to be a major source of cargo when it opens on 17 August, with 160,000 pallet spaces generating additional container imports through the port.
Asda is also expected to increase its throughput at the port, while a series of other deals are in the pipeline.
"We’ve secured a deal with a major 3PL that is going to confirm another 17,000teu, " said Wall.
Logical Link and East Coast Feeder are also driving volumes. Then there are smaller port-centric logistics deals we’ve done, for instance with Tailors of Harrogate, where we’ve secured a contract for 1,000 containers a year.
"We’ve also secured a deal with Containerships, which acquired Contaz, and we’re now deemed as the Containerships transhipment hub in the UK, which we expect to develop another 20,000teu with their advancement into the Mediterranean.
PD Ports is for sale following Australia-based owner Babcock and Brown filing for administration in March.
Despite uncertainty over its future ownership, executives also remain confident that the planned 1.5m teu Northern Gateway development will proceed, with phase one expected to begin operations in mid-2013.
Wall explained that six shipping lines and four major retailers/industrials had issued letters of intent expressing interest in shipping through Northern Gateway.

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