Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Portico in Portsmouth has recorded a 21% increase in vehicle movements at the international cargo terminal since 2018.
The increase in the number of vehicles at Portico has been driven by a successful diversification programme at the terminal, reducing their reliance on specific cargoes by investing in new equipment that can handle a wide range of commodities. Investment in automation has also reduced the time needed to process vehicles arriving on-site.
For example, in November last year, Portico demonstrated this versatility by handling four different types of cargo over one week. This included paper, grain, project cargo for HS2 and containers across their two deep water quays, and by utilising berths at neighbouring Portsmouth International Port.
The terminal also had an important role to play in helping to solve the empty container crisis, with 10,000 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) moved through Portsmouth to be consolidated and sent back to where they were needed. Long-term contracts with customers such as Geest Line and Africa Express Lines have also helped the business plan for the future.
Steve Williams MBE, operations director at Portico, said: “I’m delighted to see the 21% increase in the number of vehicle movements at Portico and that our diversification strategy is now showing real dividends.
“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”.