Home Ports & TerminalsCanals ABP announces new-look Marine department on the Humber

ABP announces new-look Marine department on the Humber

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image courtesy of ABP/David Lee Photography – see at the end of the news for th caption

image courtesy of ABP/David Lee Photography – see at the end of the news for th caption*

Associated British Ports (ABP) has announced changes within its marine department on the Humber, which will allow an improved service from a newly consolidated team.

Capt Phil Cowing has taken up the newly created role of Head of Marine Humber, with responsibility for co-ordinating and leading all marine activity on the Humber, reporting to John Fitzgerald Director Humber. Phil will also continue in his role as Marine Advisor to the ABP Board. Capt Andrew Firman replaces him as Harbour Master Humber.

Capt Martin Gough, formerly Dock Master Humber, has taken up the new role of Marine Training Manager, reflecting the importance ABP is placing on its industry-leading Marine Apprenticeship Scheme.  The scheme will be expanded in 2015 to include the first intake of Marine Pilotage Apprentices.

Capt Graham Hodge has been appointed as Dock Master Immingham; Capt Mike Dunn as Dock Master Hull & Goole; and Capt Phil Christy as Dock Master and Operations Manager Grimsby.

The company has also seen changes with the pilotage service, with Matt Booth moving up to the role of Deputy Pilotage Manager Humber, and Andy Swift becoming Deputy Harbour Master and Pilotage Operations Manager Humber.

Phil Cowing commented:  “Historically the ABP Humber ports and Humber Estuary Services (HES) have been run as separate marine functions, but the time is now right for a more integrated operational approach whilst still maintaining the transparency and impartiality of HES for the provision of pilotage and conservancy to all river users.


“An integrated approach removes unnecessary duplication and demarcation to provide a more streamlined and efficient service for the ABP ports, whilst HES will continue to provide high levels of service and support for customers at the non-ABP locations throughout the harbour area and the wider stakeholder groups.”

He added:  “These are exciting times for the Humber with planned growth on both banks to support the offshore renewables industry as well as plans to relocate VTS Humber from Spurn Point to a new integrated Humber Marine Control Centre at Grimsby.

The concept of an integrated marine team should serve us well in managing future growth and changing traffic patterns in the Humber and sits well with the concept of continuous improvement enshrined in the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC), the national standard against which all Harbour Authorities are measured.”


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.

ABP Humber

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 de

*velopment 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 plant, represents a £310 million investment and will 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.

*caption: Martin Gough, Marine Training Manager; Matt Booth, Deputy Pilotage Manager Humber; Mike Dunn, Dock Master Hull & Goole; Andrew Firman, Harbour Master Humber; Graham Hodge, Dock Master, Immingham; Phil Cowing, Head of Marine Services, Humber and Phil Christy, Dock Master and Operations Manager, Grimsby 

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