UK: Grimsby Port Gears Up for Expansion
The development of Grimsby River Terminal (GRT) by Associated British Ports (ABP) will herald the largest ever capital investment in the Port of Grimsby.
Alongside this, ABP will enter into a new long-term agreement with Volkswagen Group UK Ltd. Over £25 million will be invested by ABP in the new terminal on the river Humber, offering significantly improved access to the international automotive industry.
Specialist car-carrying ships currently berth in Grimsby’s Alexandra Dock, which is accessed through the Port’s original Royal Lock, built in 1852. The lock entrance limits ship size to a maximum of 800 cars. The GRT will offer lock-free access for two vessels carrying up to 3,000 vehicles, significantly increasing the Port’s capacity and making it more attractive to carriers. It will link directly into the Port’s extensive car storage facilities.
Volkswagen Group, the largest car manufacturer in Europe and the largest seller of cars in the UK, has been a valued customer at the Port since the early 1970s, delivering brands such as Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, and Seat.
ABP Port Director Grimsby & Immingham John Fitzgerald said, “It is fitting that such a long-term customer is key to this exciting new phase in the history of the Port of Grimsby.
“This new contract strengthens our close working relationship with VW Group and builds on the combination of Grimsby’s specialist car-handling facilities, with the expertise of GBA Group’s staff. This has successfully attracted the world’s leading car carriers to the Humber. The development of the terminal will allow us to significantly expand and will bring new job opportunities in coming years”.
Robin Slough, Head of Vehicle Operations, VW Group said, “Grimsby is at the centre of our UK logistics strategy. Its excellent links enable efficient distribution to our customers in most of England and Wales. We are delighted to support ABP’s expansion project by committing our traffic to the Port of Grimsby for the long term.”
Work will commence early in 2012, with the first ships expected to berth at the new facility in autumn 2013.
Dredging Today Staff, December 2, 2011; Image: abports