Feature, Freight News, Sea

On point for continued growth in 2021

[ February 1, 2021   //   ]

Warrenpoint’s tonnage held up well during 2020, just 5% down on 2019, said the port in its annual figures.
It attributed its success to its strong customer relationships, investment in its team and a focused effort by hauliers to move cargo before Brexit and to afterwards find routes that minimise disruption.
David Holmes (pictured), who took over as chief executive in August 2019, said: “We spent the best part of 2020 preparing for what impact Brexit would have on our services, while dealing with a global pandemic.
“We continue to do this as we navigate new systems and processes with our customers. We have had some success including the granting of Office of Transit and AEO Status.”
Office of Transit status means that Warrenpoint Port can be used as an office of departure or office of destination for any unitised cargoes transiting the port for goods with origin or destination in the EU.
He said: “It has certainly been a challenging year but one which we have worked together as a team and delivered for our customers. Managing Covid-19 and protecting our employees has been a key theme across the last 12 months. Like Brexit it is a challenge that we continue to navigate. We have however, continued to improve our internal communications as well as working on our place in the community. Over Christmas, with the support of our customer and supply chain base, we were able to donate almost £12,000 to 23 organisations in our local community to deliver some festive cheer.
“I am immensely proud of what the team has achieved in 2020 and how we turned the year around after the first lockdown. I want to thank our team for the effort and commitment they put in to making us such a vital component of our island economy.
“We can all see from the start of this year; how important it is for us to keep goods flowing. We are poised and ready to continue to do this in 2021 with new and existing customers. We are prepped and ready for the challenges that lie ahead, and we look forward to working with our local community, our customers, and stakeholders to deliver post Covid economic recovery for our area when the time comes.”
David Holmes also paid tribute to outgoing chairman Stan McIlvenney for all the wisdom, adding: “ we look forward to getting to know our new chairman Dr Gerard O Hare when he joins us in February.”
Warrenpoint Port is Northern Ireland’s second largest port by volume and while it is almost 250 years old as a port, Warrenpoint Harbour Authority will celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year.