Business, Freight News, Sea

Tilbury wins UK’s first Motorways of the Sea funding

[ August 16, 2012   //   ]

The Port of Tilbury has become the first in the UK to win a grant under the European Commission’s Motorways of the Sea scheme. A joint bid with Spain’s Port of Bilbao announced on 14 August for the €32m (£25.2m) IBUK – Intermodal Corridor project will include container terminal redevelopment including new cranes, straddle carriers, a new bespoke IT system and surfacing work. In Bilbao the funding will be used for an inland rail terminal 120 km from the port and investment in new IT systems. The two ports will develop joint systems to transfer of information between the two ports and other interested parties.

The scheme is expected to transfer over 225m road kilometres to sea over 15-years.

The EU funding is €8m (£5.75m) of which Tilbury will get €4.3m (£3.36m) in grant funding.  The Motorways of the Sea programme is managed by the TEN-T Executive Agency. The project must be completed by the end 2014 to qualify for the full funding.

Perry Glading, chief operating officer of Forth Ports, owners of the Port of Tilbury, said the grant “recognises the growing importance of developing Motorways of the Sea connections between the Iberian Peninsula and the UK.  This substantial award will see further development of our short sea container operations within London Container Terminal over the next 2 years as well as achieving a modal shift from road to sea and improving overall efficiencies in the supply chains between the two countries.”

Tilbury has been working with short sea shipping specialists MacAndrews to develop routes between Spain and the UK and has nominated Tilbury as a hub port having added Polish, Swedish and Portuguese connections to the Tilbury/Bilbao routing. Samskip and Transfennica also operate services to Bilbao from Tilbury.