Logical logistics solutions.

PD Ports, a British port operator, is applying this business phrase as its new motto. With its PD Portcentric business unit the company plans to set new standards in the United Kingdom for the distribution of goods.

PD Ports operates sites in ­Hartlepool, Billingham and Teesport in the north of England. Its locations in Hull, Immingham, Scunthorpe, Howden and Keadby, meanwhile, are situated in the middle of the country. In addition, the company offers logistics concepts in Felixstowe, the biggest container port of the British Isles, and at the Thamesport, which is located close to London.

Traditional supply chains on the British Isles have, as a rule, operated in the way of a «golden logistics triangle» in the middle of the country, from where the goods are further distributed to their ­final destination. This approach is now to be changed by the company with its so-called project P. In the future, the goods concerned will be sent directly between port and recipient. To this end, PD Ports has invested a total of approximately EUR 20 million over the past couple of years in the expansion of its sites. The result is that 4 million sqm of storage space are now available.
Old wine in new skins?

The port-centric logistics concept is currently all the rage. By storing the goods in the port instead of sending them to a distribution centre, ensuring more direct transport routes, companies aim to achieve leaner supply chains and to thereby save both mileage as well as greenhouse-gas emissions from fuel consumption. However, in this connection critics note that ports have always offered storage space and specific deliveries.

But demand for these new kinds of services has changed. In the meantime, even large companies, such as the supermarket chains Tesco and Asda and the retailer Argos, which is part of the Home Retail Group, are using port-centric solutions for the distribution of their goods. As regards Argos, for instance, this means that the company has changed its entire supply chain for the north of the country. For some years now Argos has operated a storage warehouse, which covers an area of approximately 70,000 sqm, in Faverdale in the north of England. In the past, the majority of the goods was traditionally transported via ports in the south of the country. In the meantime, the regional port of Teesport, which specialises mainly in the processing of feeder traffic, plays a far greater role for the market in the north of England. It is only approximately 40 km away from the existing distribution centre in Faverdale, which means that it has been possible to greatly reduce the amount of kilometres driven on the road.
Many benefits.

PD Ports explained that it has an annual transport capacity of up to 500,000 containers as part of its Portcentric concept. In addition to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, the transport costs are, of course, at the heart of the assessment of any new logistics concepts. Inland container movements are not necessary with project P, as a rule, and what is more, demurrage and warehousing costs for the boxes are also reduced. A particular upside, however, is seen by PD Ports in the huge savings made on fuel costs.

Source:  www.transportjournal.com      


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