Tugboats brought in to help port customers

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Portsmouth International Port has launched a towage service for commercial ships with the appointment of the UK’s largest independent tugboat operator.

SMS Towage Ltd has two tugboats on standby at the port and available to ships sailing in. It marks further expansion for the company, which also services the Humber ports, Bristol Channel and Belfast Harbour. 

It is expected to create around 10 new jobs as SMS takes steps to appoint its Portsmouth crew.

The move to a dedicated towage service builds on the port’s strategy of growth to attract new sectors to both Portsmouth International Port and MMD Shipping, its importing and handling business.

Rupert Taylor, Portsmouth International Port’s harbour master, said: ‘We’re very pleased that our customers will now have a dedicated towage service when using the port. It enables us to provide more resources for commercial shipping companies.’

The two tugs operating at the port are the Irishman and Guardsman, both 40 tonne bollard pull ASD vessels.