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New logistics and freight yard to boost port operations in Southampton

A new logistics and freight yard beside Southampton Container Terminal is predicted to give a significant extra competitive edge to cargo and haulage operations in the port.

The new yard and operation has been created in a deal between Southampton Container Terminal operator DP World and Williams Shipping, one of Southampton’s oldest and most established maritime and logistics businesses.

The yard is twice the size of the existing Williams Shipping yard, which is outside the port, and it is predicted that the short move and expansion of operations could at least double the amount of cargo passing through.

Jonathan Williams, Managing Director of the Cargo Division of Williams Shipping, said the cramped conditions in their previous yard restricted capacity but the expansion into the new yard had opened up a number of opportunities to grow and diversify cargo and haulage operations.

“We have been running cargo operations for decades, but this side of our work has grown significantly in recent years,” said Jonathan.

“It is a really good fit for our maritime customer base, creating a more efficient shipping experience for them, from import into the docks and on to road haulage, or the reverse for goods for export.”

“The increased capacity that this creates in port haulage operations will be a significant benefit to freight forwarding companies and shipping lines that have often been forced onto a waiting list for their chance to move their goods.”

Williams Shipping’s 22 truck fleet is a familiar sight on the country’s roads – hauling from 44 tonnes up to 150 tonnes gross – and seven brand new DAF trucks are being added to the fleet this year in a further significant financial investment in the business.

Jonathan added: “We are working very closely with a number of freight forwarders across the country helping them to support their customers bringing cargo into Southampton from all over the world for onward delivery, or transporting it to Southampton for export.”

Much of the haulage work the Williams team is fulfilling is awkwardly-shaped industrial goods that would not easily fit inside a shipping container. Recent examples include very heavy and wide cable reels that needed heavy haulage, a significant number of large, industrial batteries, and a Rolls Royce aircraft engine.

Jonathan said: “Our team spend a lot of time speaking with our freight forwarding clients so we can completely understand the technicalities or any awkward issues there may be with the products they need to move, so we can ensure that we are geared up to handle them.

“We have invested heavily in equipment in the new yard – from very high end fork-lifts to reach stackers to make sure that whatever the item, we have the capability to be able to move it.

“Moving into this new yard alongside the Container Terminal is a very significant milestone for Williams Shipping and especially our Cargo Division. We see this leading to significant growth for both us and DP World over the coming years as a direct result of this move.”

The existing Williams Shipping Millbrook cargo yard will continue to be used for additional open air and long-term equipment storage.

Williams Shipping will be showing off the capabilities of its new yard at Breakbulk Europe this week, and Multimodal in Birmingham from June 11th to 13th – both exhibitions specific to the cargo and project cargo industries.
Source: Williams Shipping

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