Image: Rice being discharged at Port of Ipswich in June 2020.
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic this year, Associated British Ports (ABP)’s ports of Ipswich and King’s Lynn have continued to play a vital role in keeping agricultural products moving in support of local businesses and farmers in East Anglia.
Since 23rd March, the Port of Ipswich has reported handling nearly 1.2 million tonnes of cargo and following the discharge of over 13,000 tonnes from MV Sten Bergen in September, its cargo-handling total has reached over 1.6 million this year.
Paul Ager, ABP Divisional Port Manager – East Coast, said: “Over the summer months alone, our Ports of King’s Lynn and Ipswich have welcomed 56 vessels, which have exported nearly 200,000 tonnes of agricultural products.
“This is a truly impressive amount and I would like to thank our teams on the ground and our customers for working hard to keep cargo flows moving efficiently.”
The Port of Ipswich’s status as the UK’s number one export port for agricultural products has recently been reaffirmed by the Department for Transport (DfT)’s Annual UK Port Freight statistics released in August this year. This is a position that Ipswich has held consistently since 2005 for outward traffic, which includes domestic and international traffic.
Since July 2020, many of ABP’s leading customers in the agricultural sector have seen the Port of Ipswich handle a significant flow of products such as barley, maize, soya and wheat, including over 120,000 tonnes for Clarksons and more than 152,000 tonnes for COFCO.
Tim Capey, Chief Operating Officer at COFCO International UK Ltd, said: “Under challenging circumstances created by COVID-19, COFCO International are pleased with the import and export volumes handled through the Port of Ipswich. This achievement would not have been possible without the diligence and commitment from all of our staff and the assistance of ABP’s operational teams.”
David Rumsey, Managing Director at Clarkson Port Services Limited, commented: “Clarksons’ Sentinel terminal works closely with ABP and our customers, and was able to quickly adapt to the harvest conditions and UK mills’ requirements.
“This year our team prepared early for a greater import year, which has kept them very busy. Our customs department have also increased in size in order to provide our customers with the knowledge and confidence of continued trading through the ending of the Brexit Transition Period. We look forward to further strong months working together.”
Andrew Harston, ABP Wales and Short Sea Ports Director, said: “We are looking forward to continued high import levels in the coming months. We have the right infrastructure and expertise to help our customers meet their goals and keep trade flowing.”