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Ministerial Visit to North East Logistics Hubs

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Dave Robinson PD Ports left and the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin right

Dave Robinson PD Ports left and the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin right

The Secretary of State  for Transport of the United Kingdom, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin, has visited two major businesses  in the North East to learn more about the region’s port and logistics  capabilities. The senior government figure visited PD Ports, owners and  operators of Teesport, the North East’s premier container port, before moving to Wynyard Park, and the new 840, 000 sqft supercentre  operated by Clipper.

During the visit, the  Secretary of State was able to see the journey of consumer goods from dockside  to shop floor ready, first hand, providing an opportunity to see the value added  by the specialist operators located in the region. His visit started at  Teesport, where goods arrive into the region for onward national distribution  from major importers such as Tesco, Asda and Taylors of Harrogate. The minister  took in a tour of the port’s extensive facilities including Teesport’s container  terminal, which has recently benefitted from a £16.7M infrastructure investment  and the steel slab handling operation, now nearing its 2 millionth tonne  milestone for SSI UK, since the plant reopened in 2012.

The visit then continued  on to Clipper’s supercentre at Wynyard Park, which accepts and deconsolidates  imported clothes for Asda, via Teesport. Here they are prepared for the shop  floor and then transported on throughout the country to the three George UK  regional distribution centres.

PD Ports and Clipper  updated the minister on their plans for the future and the commercial and  environmental benefits of portcentric distribution – whereby imported goods are  sorted at or near their port of entry. This approach can have many benefits over  traditional methods, which see imports moved by road to a central facility  before being redistributed. Portcentric logistics can reduce road miles,   handling costs and help reduce CO2 emissions.

Transport Secretary  Patrick McLoughlin said: “Cargo centres such as Teesport and Wynyard Park  are crucial to the UK economy. 

“PD Ports and Clipper are  working closely together to bring jobs to the North East, as well as bringing  innovation to the sector by streamlining the distribution process. I was  impressed to see the scale of operations at both facilities and interested to  learn about their contribution to the regional economy and national transport  strategy.”

David Robinson, CEO of PD  Ports Group said: “We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to  Teesport so that he could see our facility first hand. We have recently invested  significantly in our container terminal infrastructure at Teesport, and have  further improvements in the pipeline so that we can service the growing volume  of containerised goods coming through the port. We were especially keen to talk  about the proven benefits of portcentric logistics and how this could prove  advantageous for companies importing and exporting goods into and out of the UK.

“Teesport is well placed  to make a material difference to supply chain markets and we are looking to  build on our existing platform to position the North East, and in particular the Tees Valley, as a leading centre for UK  logistics.”

Tony Mannix, Managing  Director of Clipper said:  “The  Wynyard supercentre represents a major investment in the Teesside economy and  proves our commitment to the region. We’ve created a world-class logistics  facility, which takes an industry leading approach to supply chain solutions. As  well as providing ASDA/George with their bespoke solution, our new centre at  Wynyard presents an opportunity for other retailers. The site will be of  particular interest to those new to global sourcing and/or e-fulfilment and give  them the opportunity to take advantage of deconsolidation best practice through  a shared-user proposition, without major capital  investment.”

Chris Hall, National  Transport Manager for Asda Distribution said: “The Wynyard supercentre has  proven itself to be an invaluable partner to our business and the success of the  bespoke solutions they have created for us has brought about significant cost  and efficiency savings to our operations.

“The strategic position  of the new site and its close proximity to the terminal infrastructure has been  invaluable in supporting our growing clothing business.  So much so we took the unprecedented  step of signing this ten year contract for Clipper to provide deconsolidation  solutions at the new Clipper Wynyard site.”

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