Shipping firm set to move its business out of Portsmouth

Portsmouth's freight port
Portsmouth's freight port
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A SHIPPING firm has announced that it will be using Dover instead of Portsmouth.

Geest Line will be changing ports after a fleet expansion, with five new ships and revised scheduling times.

The company says that it needs a Friday arrival for cargo in the south, which Portsmouth cannot provide.

Managing director Captain Peter Dixon says that although the company didn’t want to move out of Portsmouth, it has been left with no alternative.

He said: ‘Our new logistics require a switch of days for handling eastbound arrivals in England from Sunday to Friday.

‘This would have been the first scheduling change impacting Portsmouth in our 16 years at the port.

‘The port operator has however advised that their teams are regrettably unable to handle our revised schedule so we have had no choice but to, reluctantly, relocate.

‘We would like to thank all the stevedores, other port operatives, hauliers and supply chain contacts for their hard work over the years we have been at Portsmouth.

‘We did investigate the port of Southampton which was our base before Portsmouth but it does not have sufficient cargo-handling space for our particular needs.’

The 32 staff working at the company’s headquarters in Fareham will not be affected by the changes.

The Portsmouth City Council-owned cargo handling firm MMD, which operates the freight terminal, handles 70 per cent of the bananas that come into the UK.