Shipping company Portico signs lease extension with Portsmouth council

A CITY-owned cargo company could play an 'integral' part in Portsmouth's recovery post-pandemic, after signing a new lease to last more than three decades.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 3:44 pm

Deep water cargo terminal and customs agency Portico, which is based at Portsmouth International Port, has agreed a 34-year extension with owners Portsmouth City Council.

Previously known as MMD Shipping, the company re-branded two years ago as part of a 10-year 'modernisation programme.'

Hopes were raised that Portico could support Portsmouth's recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Portico, the deep water cargo terminal and customs agency based at Portsmouth International Port, have agreed a significant lease extension with Portsmouth City Council

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Councillor Steve Pitt, the council's deputy leader and economic development boss, said: 'The success of the city's port is integral to Portsmouth's economic recovery following the pandemic.

'Under their current leadership, Portico have established themselves as a flexible, multi-functional cargo terminal with easy access from the motorway and the major shipping channels.

'This new deal allows them to plan for the future by giving certainty to their customers. It also means income has been secured for the city's budget going forward, allowing us to invest in essential services for local residents.'

The extended contract will allow Portico to expand its portfolio, by offering current and new businesses longer term contracts.

Operations director at Portico, Steve Williams, said: 'I'd like to thank both Portico’s and the council's legal teams for the professional way the contract negotiations have taken place.

'This commitment that the council has given us by extending our lease for 34 years means we have the certainty we need to continue building the business.'

Under the modernisation programme the company aimed to expand its remit, being previously best known for importing a large proportion of the UK's bananas.

'We've made great strides in recent years by diversifying the range of cargo we can handle, including wind turbine blades, aggregates and grain in the past year,' Mr Williams added.

'Portico have also played a big part in helping to solve the recent container crisis by helping to move them out of the UK and back to where they need to be.'

As previously reported, the Portsmouth City Council approved a £15m investment into the company – then called MMD Shipping - back in 2019.

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