Swedish shipping line Thor has established its first UK base at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Hull.
The company, which operates three vessels, the Odin, the Alrek and the Frej, will use the former TransAtlantic terminal for handling 300, 000 tonnes of steel and other cargoes each year.
The route, which runs through Sweden, Hull, Amsterdam and Antwerp will also pick up dolomite in the UK and Thor is confident that the addition of Antwerp will ensure the route remains viable.
Eric Hjalmarsson, Director, Thor Shipping & Transport AB, said: “We have the combination with Antwerp, which is bringing some additional business to the service.
“We’re also looking at a growing waste-for-energy market. We see a perfect balance in shipping steel to the UK and shipping waste back as a base cargo.”
One of the world’s largest facilities for burning refuse-derived fuel (RDF) has just been built close to Thor’s headquarters in Västerås, Sweden.
Mr Hjalmarsson believes a long-term deal with steel maker SSAB will also give the route added security.
“We will be successful with this because we’re a small organisation with fewer overheads, ” he said. “We have a good agreement with ABP and we’ve also signed a five-year contract with SSAB for their steel, which is the longest contract they’ve ever signed.
“Hull is a very good location for the UK base as it’s very close to a big area of production.”
As well as 140, 000 tonnes of steel, a large volume of which is transported to the Midlands by train straight from the quayside, Thor also handle armoured steel plate for the defence industry.
ABP Business Development Manager Humber, Gareth Russell said: “This deal will bring more investment into the Port of Hull and will secure and create jobs going forward. We’re delighted Thor has come in, and we hope to have a long and successful partnership with the company.”
ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.
Around one quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade passes through ABP’s Statutory Harbour Areas. ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84, 000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.
· Handled over 1.5 million vehicles in 2013.
· Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
· Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage
· Has 1000 hectares of open storage
· Handled 119m tonnes of cargo in 2013
· Owns 5000 hectares of port estate
· Has 87km of quay
Over the next five years, ABP is investing over £650 million in a wide range of major projects across the group.
The four ports of Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole handle more than 65 million tonnes of cargo between them each year.
Grimsby and Immingham form the UK’s busiest trading gateway and move around 54 million tonnes of cargo per annum.
£75 million is currently being invested in the biomass handling terminal in Immingham, in a Humber-wide agreement with Drax Power Ltd that has seen £25 million invested in a biomass handling facility in Hull. The Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal will handle sustainable biomass shipments and will create over 100 permanent jobs once complete. The construction phase has also created 100 employment opportunities.
The Port of Hull handles 10 million tonnes of cargo per annum and is the is the focal point for the development of the UK’s largest offshore wind turbine construction, assembly, and service facility, which will be located on the Port’s Alexandra Dock. This new facility, coupled with a new rotor blade manufacturing base near Paull to the east of the port estate, represents a £310 million investment and could create up to 1000 direct jobs.
The Grimsby River Terminal represents an investment of £26 million and allows large car-carrying ships to berth outside the Port’s lock system. This development confirms the Port’s position as the UK’s leading automotive handling facility.
More than the equivalent of 1million teus (twenty foot equivalent unit) of unitised trade is shipped through ABP Humber ports.
Ro-ro and container traffic represents more than 30 sailings a week to Europe, Scandinavia the Baltic and beyond.
The Humber ports handle more than 70 freight train movements per day.
Goole is situated 50 miles upriver and is the UK’s premier inland port. It handles over two million tonnes of cargo annually.