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New dry bulks manager set to ring the changes for ABP on the Humber

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Craig Barbour at the biomass rail load-out facility in Hull (image courtesy of ABP/David Lee Photography

Craig Barbour at the biomass rail load-out facility in Hull (image courtesy of ABP/
David Lee Photography

Associated British Ports (ABP) Humber has welcomed Craig Barbour to the post of Dry Bulks Manager for Hull and Goole. Craig’s remit includes managing all dry bulk operations including biomass, agribulks, feeds, fertilizer and minerals.

Craig, who’s originally from Liverpool, comes to the post from a position as Assistant Operations Manager for the Conventional and Dry Bulks department at the Port of Tyne, where he was responsible for a number of cargoes including steel, coal, scrap metal, forestry products and heavy lifts.

During his time at the Port of Tyne Craig was also responsible for the facility’s wood pellet operations including discharge, storage and redelivery. The role included the management of a purpose-built 70, 000 tonne wood pellet shed and all of the operational activity and maintenance that involved.

ABP Port Manager Hull &Goole Mark Frith said: “Craig comes to ABP with lots of relevant experience in port operations and dry bulks in particular, and I’m looking forward to working with him to develop our own operational activities, particularly around ABP’s biomass business.

“I know his expertise will enable us to improve our operations for the benefit of our business and our customers.”

Craig began his career as an apprentice at the Port of Liverpool, where he completed an NVQ and a degree in Port Operations Management. He spent seven years with both Mersey Docks and Peel Ports, where he was a supervisor looking after all aspects of steel handling, storage and redelivery, before moving across to supervising the animal feed operations including storage, redelivery and discharge of various feed products to a purpose-built animal feed store.

Craig said: “I’ve been working in the ports industry for more than 10 years after an opportunity came up at the Port of Liverpool. I had just finished my A’ Levels and embarked on an apprenticeship with Mersey Docks where I progressed to supervisor before moving over to the east of the country to join Port of Tyne.

“I love the ports industry – I love the diversity of the work, dealing with different types of people and their vast array of skills. I also enjoy dealing with operational issues and finding solutions that benefit the port and the customer. I’m fascinated by the constantly evolving ways of working and operating, ensuring the company is as efficient as possible without compromising on health and safety.”

Craig was attracted to the role at ABP as he saw it as a chance to become part of the UK’s biggest ports group and take on a role that would be central to attracting new business to the Humber as well as give him real career development opportunities.

“I have a range of skills which will be of use to ABP, ” said Craig. “My time at different ports will complement this and will make operations within ABP Humber more streamlined and productive.

“I have a real focus on health and safety and employee engagement and will develop the department as a team. I’m also hoping to benchmark ABP Humber’s dry bulks business against other ports to see what we do well and where we can improve.”


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.

£130-plus 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 handles 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.

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