Freight News, Sea

Portsmouth thinks to the future

[ February 15, 2022   //   ]

Portsmouth International Port has launched its 20-year Masterplan. It follows market analysis and stakeholder engagement to forecast changes in the trade and travel industry by engineering and project management consultants Royal HaskoningDHV, which identified a rise in containerisation and unaccompanied freight .

Advanced discussions are now underway to establish a six-hectare pre-gate centre outside the city, with driver rest facilities available.

The Masterplan will focus on expansion of port land to cater for increase in unaccompanied freight, berth extension to cater for ships up to 300m, upgrading of facilities at international cargo terminal Portico, a new Border Control Post, smart technology to manage cargo and passenger flow and sustainable infrastructure and alternative power supply.

Port director Mike Sellers, said: “There are dramatic changes facing the ports industry over the coming years, and we want to make sure we’re in the best position to play our role as a major UK port. We have a new relationship with EU, so that means adapting to shifts in freight operations and supporting our customers Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries.

“We’re proud to play our role as key workers, providing essential services and being a vital part of the supply chain. However, we will soon be reaching our capacity.

“Our Masterplan identifies opportunities for crucial land, both close to the port’s boundary and beyond.

“The port is a significant contributor to the local and national economy,  which is why we need to look strategically at  developments to safeguard the port’s future and the value to the local community.”

There will be a phased approach to projects, with the terminal building extension starting in the spring, running alongside the green initiatives such providing shore power for smaller ships by the summer. The port will welcome Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca this spring, which is powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). 

Portico’s operations director, Steve Williams, added: “With a significant  increase in the number of vehicle movements at Portico showing that our diversification strategy is now having a real impact, we need to look at  how we’ll manage operations in the future. We’ve already started investing in automation to speed up processing at Portico, which means automatic gates will welcome lorries the moment they arrive, and all the paperwork can be pre-cleared. The concept of hauliers sitting in their cabs, waiting in queues, is over.

“But while we can make efficiencies on site we know that the future of shipping is changing further and we want to be able to take the next step.

“This means focusing on handling more containerised cargo and making space across the site. The Masterplan shows our long-term ambitions to build our profile as an international cargo operator.”

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