PD Ports senior representatives, including David Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, have returned to PD Ports’ Teesport operations, following a successful 14-day tour of the Far East.
The aim of the tour, which included visits to Taipei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Dubai, was to promote greater use of Teesport and stimulate interest for new shipping lines to call at the Port direct. Teesport currently has frequent callings from eight container shipping lines and carriers such as Maersk, CMA CGM, K Line and MSC.
PD Ports’ Far East schedule included meetings with several leading shipping lines and logistics companies to raise the awareness of the Port’s $444m deep sea container terminal development, known as The Northern Gateway (NGCT). Previous trips in 2008 have included Thailand, Vietnam, China (Shanghai) and India (Mumbai).
David Robinson delivered a strong rally cry for attracting new shipping lines to Teesport. “The message is clear, the use of northern UK ports for cargo destined for the Northern UK retailers and consumers, is the way forward,” stated Robinson. His statements were further supported by the fact that two of the world’s largest retailers, ASDA Wal*Mart and Tesco, both have major distribution hubs based at Teesport.
As a further benefit to both the UK economy and the environment, ASDA Wal*Mart is already estimating transport cost-savings well in excess of 2 million road miles since opening in Teesport in 2006. Major retailers and shippers are realising the cost and carbon reduction potentials that are made possible by having cargo brought in by sea, closer to its final northern UK destination.
Following on these successes, Tesco has recently followed suit with construction of a 1.2 million sq ft import centre at Teesport (the centre is equivalent to 22 football pitches). This Tesco project will create 800 new jobs to the area. Recruitment for this new facility is expected to start early in the new year with operations targeted to begin in Summer 2009.
In commenting on the recent tour, David Robinson, added: “The trip was extremely worthwhile. With sea freight rates recently falling, there has been an added interest in saving overall supply chain costs by reducing the high costs of any inland road leg of the cargo journey. With volatile fuel prices and increased environmental restrictions, the introduction of a slightly extended sea journey will allow cargo to be brought in much closer to its end UK destination. Retailers find Teesport increasingly attractive because they can cut out costly road miles on congested networks within the UK. Shipping lines, especially those from the Far East, are viewing the area with increased attention because of the potential cost savings and expanding trade opportunities.”