Portsmouth City Council-owned shipping firm MMD to be re-branded Portico after approval of £15m investment

MMD in Portsmouth
MMD in Portsmouth
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COUNCIL-OWNED MMD Shipping will now be known as Portico to mark the start of a 10-year modernisation plan.

The re-brand comes after Portsmouth City Council approved a £15m investment into the shipping and cargo handling company.

Under the name Portico the business will also continue to 'diversify' its remit by importing goods other than fruit, which was the main focus of MMD.

For Mike Sellers, Portico’s managing director, the re-naming was an opportunity. 'As an established operator for many global shippers, we are considered a credible market leader in the industry and want a brand identity to match,' he said.

'In response to market and customer demand we have redeveloped the site and already secured major contracts, firstly global offshore wind company MHI Vestas, Ferryspeed’s Channel Island service, and more recently with international fruit importer Seatrade.

'These long-term contracts illustrate how we’re both diversifying our business by handling the world’s largest wind turbines, and responding to changes in the industry while also sustaining the core business of fresh imports.'

Recently it was revealed that a complete modernisation would cost a total of £50m over the next 20 years.

READ MORE: Councillors call for more transparency over MMD finances

Mr Sellers added: 'Our sister site, Portsmouth International Port, has an impressive reputation for being commercially successful and complements Portico, but this link isn’t obvious. It’s important we have a brand that represents our true strengths and values as a company.

'Portico has the location, equipment and expertise to provide an excellent service for its customers. There are serious strengths from a motivated workforce, enthusiastic about the future who also have the ability to drive forward change.'

READ MORE: MMD needs £50m

Operations director of Portico, Steve Williams, agreed. He said: 'We are going through significant change and have a real opportunity to become a leading player in the shipping industry.

'Our commercial team has been dealing with a record number of enquiries so it’s essential we’re able to manage an increase in business, which means this investment is vital.

'We also have a new senior management team, which includes ports industry experts from the private sector, who will strengthen the service and develop the business plan.

'All combined we’re confident that Portico’s impact as a successful, serious company will continue to grow and become the port of choice for the industry.'

READ MORE: Diversification to boost MMD trade

Digital assets of the company will be changed first, followed by other branded elements on a refresh and replenish basis in-keeping with maintenance updates.