DP World Southampton, which was awarded Freeport status by the UK government in March, has been given £40m (US$55m) infrastructure investment to meet growing customer demand.
Through this investment, DP World aims to take the facility up to the “next level” as a premier international freight and logistics hub.
Ernst Schulze, chief executive of DP World in the UK, said: “At DP World we think ahead to create smarter trade solutions and this £40m programme of investment will ensure that our Southampton terminal continues to grow as a major freight and logistics hub.
“Our aim is to partner in our customers’ business success and we are already seeing a surge of interest from companies which want to take advantage of the customs zone and tax benefits resulting from Southampton and London Gateway becoming Freeports.”
So far, DP World Southampton has completed the dredging and widening of the berths to ensure the terminal will be able to continue to accommodate the world’s biggest ships.
This project, which was conducted in partnership with Associated British Ports, was completed before Easter.
It will also purchase of a new class of eleven hybrid straddle carriers, representing an investment of £10m (US$14m), which will help lift containers moved by the quay cranes and then service onward forms of transport via road and rail.
The hybrid straddle carriers consume up to 40% less fuel than diesel-electric powered machines.
DP World has planned a £3m (US$4m) investment in the redevelopment of the yard for the storage and deliver of customer’s empty containers.
Once completed this will increase capacity by 25% and create more flexibility for port users.
A new Border Control Post (BCP), including UK Border Force and port health inspection facilities, will be built to enable multiple government agencies to expedite checks on cargo entering the country.
Additionally, the investment includes £1.5m (US$2m) extension of a quay crane rail by 120 m to enable the world’s biggest cranes to service all berths at the table.
Other quay cranes will be relocated or decommissioned in order to maximise utilisation and to speed up quayside loading and unloading.
DP World Southampton was one of DP World’s two UK deep water ports with rail freight terminals to have been awarded Freeport status.
It is one of the most productive ports in Britain and has a high proportion of containers moved by rail at 30%.