PD Teesport is investing £300 million to develop its Northern Gateway, which will transform the port into a deep sea terminal to ease direct services from Far East countries such as China. Investment will include dredging, to allow for ships in excess of 10 million teu, and also construction initiatives for warehousing. According to Graham Wall, commercial director – containers, around 53 per cent of the UK’s deep sea containers are destined for the north but are routed through Felixstowe, Southampton and Tilbury. As a result, southern ports are close to capacity and congestion is rising. The Northern Gateway would enable containers to be sent directly north, relieving the congestion at southern ports.
PD Ports states that a Northern Gateway will save UK logistics more than £60 million in the reduction of road miles, while cutting down on carbon emissions. Additionally, shippers could save up to 40 per cent in logistics costs on northern cargoes and lead times for retailers would be reduced.
PD Ports owns 2000 acres of land in Teesport, including some three million sq ft of warehousing across the group. ASDA have invested in an import centre at Teesport, through which it will bring in 80 per cent of its general merchandising. In doing so the retailer says it will save at least 8 million road miles per year on UK land distribution, saving it £9.5million in costs each year and reducing its overall environmental impact.
The company hopes to start lifting containers over Northern Gateway by mid 2010.