The new strategy has been developed since the UK government’s rejection in 2004 of ABP’s plans for a new terminal at Dibden, near Southampton. It focuses on the sustainable development and re-use of existing dock infrastructure, together with significant efficiency improvements with the use of the latest container handling equipment. Capacity has already reached 2m teu at Southampton Container Terminal (SCT), with the recent addition of six new weekly services.
ABP has consulted widely with regulators to ensure the sustainability of the scheme. Work will be implemented over a number of phases, in line with customer demand, and will be subject to rigorous environmental assessment and consultation. Bo Lerenius, group chief executive of ABP, said: “We believe our current strategy for Southampton represents one of the most sustainable container expansion plans currently being considered in the UK.”
SCT handled its one millionth teu of 2006 on September 23, hitting this mark earlier than in previous years. Coincidentally all its main customers were represented on the quay on the relevant day, with vessels from CMA CGM, Grand Alliance, Maersk Line and New World all at various stages of discharging or loading.
“The efficiency improvements that have been made to the terminal in the past 18 months, the consistent hard work of all our employees as well as the new services now in operation have all contributed to us hitting this figure earlier,” commented Patrick Walters, SCT’s managing director.