Portsmouth shipping company welcomes ‘game-changing’ 10-year deal

Portsmouth-based cargo operator MMD Shipping Services has secured a 10-year agreement with international manufacturer MHI Vestas Offshore Wind to handle huge wind turbine blades like this
Portsmouth-based cargo operator MMD Shipping Services has secured a 10-year agreement with international manufacturer MHI Vestas Offshore Wind to handle huge wind turbine blades like this

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A NEW 10-year deal for a shipping company has been called a ‘game-changer’.

Cargo operator MMD Shipping Services, based in Portsmouth, has secured an agreement with Danish manufacturer MHI Vestas Offshore Winds to handle wind turbine blades.

It marks a change in direction for the type of cargo we typically handle and signifies an ability to diversify our current offer.

Mike Sellers

Based at the city’s international port, moving the 80m-long, 35-tonne blades will become a regular service for MMD.

The firm’s director Mike Sellers has welcomed the deal.

It comes after MMD lost its contract with Geest earlier this year to import bananas after the business relocated to Dover.

As previously reported, Geest said they were moving as it was bringing in five new ships on a Friday arrival, which Portsmouth could not provide.

Mr Sellers said: ‘This long-term agreement is a game-changer for MMD Shipping Services.

‘MHI Vestas is a high-profile client and being part of their manufacturing process demonstrates the expertise, capacity and equipment on-site to look after large- scale cargo.

‘It marks a change in direction for the type of cargo we typically handle and signifies an ability to diversify our current offer.

‘With significant development plans under way to accommodate more containers and also providing flexible arrangements for storing cargo, MMD Shipping Services is making a strategic move to broaden our business.

‘This is really positive news for the company and I’m looking forward to further announcements thanks to the hard work of everyone involved.’

From spring, moving the wind blades will be a regular service for MMD with 48 smaller vessel movements, and a further 12 services throughout the year.

James Luter, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind’s director of production said: ‘MHI Vestas is delighted to be working with MMD in the storage and loading of our blades from their facility.

‘We look forward to utilising MMD expertise to support the growing offshore wind market in the UK and Europe.’

MMD has undergone a significant restructure, involving a review of senior management and other positions. The company said this has resulted in a change of roles to better serve the demands of the shipping industry, which are becoming less reliant on manual, labour intensive skills.

It added a new business development manager has been appointed to identify commercial opportunities and look at ways the company can adapt to meet the trends in a fast-paced and evolving industry.