Portsmouth's cargo port sees 21 per cent jump in traffic handled by Portico since 2018

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Portsmouth’s port says it has recorded an increase of more than 20 per cent in vehicle movements at the international cargo terminal since 2018, despite pandemic tribulations.

The port decided to look at getting a wider type of goods through its terminals, by buying equipment that could handle different cargoes.

In November Portico, the city council-owned company that operates the port, handled four types of cargo within a week, with paper, grain, project cargo for HS2 and containers coming through the two deep water quays, and also using berths at the next-door international port.

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As well as the diversification programme at the terminal, increased automation has also reduced the time needed to process vehicles arriving on-site.

Grain being exportedGrain being exported
Grain being exported
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And Portico says long-term contracts with customers such as Geest Line and Africa Express Lines have also helped.

Steve Williams MBE, operations director at Portico, said: ‘I’m delighted to see the 21 per cent increase in the number of vehicle movements at Portico and that our diversification strategy is now showing real dividends.

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Ships alongside at PorticoShips alongside at Portico
Ships alongside at Portico

‘The investment in automation means that the speed of processing at Portico is now rapid. Our 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 eliminated.

‘For importers and exporters, Portsmouth is convenient for much of the UK with a motorway going direct to our door. The A3 goes direct to London and the M3 connects the midlands. Our location means no more nightmare of circumnavigating the M25, and your reliance on long distance road haulage can be reduced.’

Added to this, Portico is ideally placed for feeder and short sea container services from major European ports, with a service to Antwerp already in place. These services offer advantages for exporters and importers, allowing them to get their good closer to where they need to be.

Mike Sellers, port director at Portsmouth International Port added: ‘Portico’s success is integral to the growth of Portsmouth's port and the city’s economy. Thanks to the hard work of Steve and his team they've shown that they can now handle any cargo challenge, and the results are really starting to show.

‘Both the cargo terminal and Portico's customs agency are powering ahead and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2022 brings.’