ABP invests £25m for improved access at Grimsby
Associated British Ports (ABP) have released further details of the start of work on its £25m Grimsby Riverside Ro-Ro Terminal. The development heralds the largest-ever capital investment in the port of Grimsby and will offer significantly improved access for vehicle imports and exports.
Guests at a ceremony held earlier this month included Alistair Shields, director of Volkswagen Group Services, and Sam Judah, managing director of GBA Group, the company which manages the port of Grimsby's car terminals. They were joined host John Fitzgerald, ABP port director Grimsby & Immingham, to mark the occasion.
Speaking at the event Fitzgerald said the investment was the largest made by ABP in Grimsby port. "The Port of Grimsby's outstanding inland distribution location, coupled with ABP's continued commitment to upgrading our infrastructure to meet the needs of our customers in years to come and our close working relationships with Volkswagen Group and GBA Group, has cemented the port's excellent reputation as one of the UK's busiest car-handling facility,"  he said.
Speaking for VW, Shields noted that VW's partnership with Grimsby went back 37 years and since then the company has imported more than 3.7m vehicles through the port. "We are very proud of the success VWG, ABP, and GBA have produced and enjoyed for their businesses and all the employees involved," he said.
Specialist car-carrying ships currently berth in Grimsby's Alexandra Dock - accessed through the port's original Royal Lock, built in 1852. The lock entrance limits ship size capacity to a maximum of 800 cars per vessel. When complete the new terminal will offer lock-free access for two vessels carrying up to 3,000 cars each, significantly increasing the port's capacity and making it more attractive to companies such as Volkswagen Group and the shipping lines. It will link directly into the port's extensive car storage facilities operated by GBA Group.
The Port of Grimsby & Immingham is the UK's busiest car-handling port, with over 632,000 units shipped in 2011. Manufacturers serviced at Grimsby include Volkswagen Group, Toyota, and Peugeot Citroen.
The first riverside terminal to be developed in Port of Grimsby will have the added benefit of offering new berthing capacity to vessels deployed in supporting the fast growing offshore wind operations and maintenance business.  The new development also complements ABP's investment into its fourth multi deck car terminal at the Port of Southampton.
Autologic buys assets of another rival
Walon, a division of finished vehicle carrier Autologic, has bought the assets of rival UK-transport company, Spirit Motortransport, after the latter was placed into administration last Friday. It is the second acquisition Autologic has made this year following the administration of a rival firm. The company bought the assets of Sensible Transport earlier this year following its own insolvency and move into administration (read more here).
Autologic also bought Autocarriers in 2010 following that company's placement into administration in September of that year. Autocarriers traded under the name MCD (Mainland Car Deliveries) prior to its insolvency.
In the latest acquisition Autologic has bought car transporters, IT and office equipment. The purchase further increases Autologic's number of carriers and the company now claims to have the largest UK car carrier fleet in the UK.
Toll restructures finished vehicle division
Toll Group's logistics division, Toll Global Logistics, is selling its finished vehicle distribution service and has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with storage and processing provider Prix Car, an automotive storage, processing and rectification specialist which is a the 50-50 joint venture between Toll and K-Line Auto-Logistics.
"Toll is selling down its finished vehicle distribution service, part of its Toll Global Logistics, Automotive business (formerly Toll AutoLogistics), to establish a more sustainable and competitive business model that will produce stronger outcomes for both companies," said the company in a statement.
Toll said the restructuring will provide customers with a fully integrated, end-to-end supply chain management service, and comes in response to broader automotive industry trends, such as the decline in local manufacturing and the increase in vehicle imports.
Toll Global Logistics, Automotive will retain its parts logistics service in Australia and Asia, as well as its finished vehicle distribution service in Asia.