The largest shipment of grain to be exported from the UK this season will set sail this month from Royal Portbury Dock, furthering Bristol’s reputation as the port of choice for South West farmers and a key global gateway for the agricultural trade.
Up to 64,000 tonnes of barley is being loaded this week on to a large Panamax vessel headed for Saudi Arabia, where it will be used as animal feed. The shipment has come through the partnership between The Bristol Port Company and Openfield, the British co-operative representing more than 4,000 farmers, with the barley harvested from across the South-West region. Bristol’s ability to handle Panamax vessels – as one of the UK’s largest deep- water ports – opens shipments up to global trading destinations beyond the EU.
Jonathan Mordaunt, Bristol Port’s Commercial Director, said: “There has been a bumper harvest this year and the superb co-operation between our grain team and Openfield has lead to us having the busiest start to the grain season in the Port’s history.”
A bumper wheat and barley harvest has been reported in the UK this year, and the Port anticipates it will continue to receive further large shipments.
The Port has invested heavily in its Agricultural Bulk Shed (ABS) facilities to make it a long-established leader in grain exports. ‘Tipping’ times can be as little as five minutes and the efficiency of its operations allows the Port to handle up to 9,000 tonnes of grain per day, equivalent to over 300 trucks. Customers also credit the Port as being user friendly in its handling of trucks delivering or taking away grain from the site.
Worldwide demand for big shipments of grain can be met because the 42.7m-wide lock gate at Portbury – the largest of its kind in the UK – allows the Port to welcome larger vessels than any other UK dock.
About Bristol Port Company
The Bristol Port Company was privatised in 1991. Bristol remains a privately owned independent business with an estate of over 2,600 acres providing employment for over 7,600 people. Over £500m has been invested in Bristol since privatization, to create one of the world’s most productive and technically advanced ports.