Building a better supply chain for cement

Blog by David Wykes, Group Business Development Manager.

Let’s be honest. How many of us give cement a second thought? Yet, it’s one of our most important man-made building materials in its own right and is the main ingredient of concrete.

Every year, the UK gets through around 15 million tonnes of traditional cement and similar products. We produce just over 10 million tonnes a year at the moment, with a maximum capacity of 12 million tonnes.

So, ports are important for importing the extra capacity we need from European countries, as well as for moving supplies around the country to where they’re needed most.

Nearly half of UK mainland cement sales are in the natural hinterland for our North West facilities. It’s a similar story with booked construction jobs, which gives a good idea of demand across the country for essential building materials.

For example, we’ve jointly invested £4m in a terminal and port facilities at Runcorn Docks to handle cement from GGBS producers in Dublin, Ireland. From here the product is processed and transported direct to the heartland of the UK’s construction industry.

The investment on the Manchester Ship Canal is opening up new opportunities for the use of GGBS in construction projects across the country.

It has already been used extensively in the UK including projects such as the Olympic Stadium and The Shard in London. Locally it has been used on projects in Manchester and Liverpool including One ST Peter’s Square and BDP studios.

Elsewhere, our UK import facility at Peel Ports Sheerness is in full operation, giving access to the lucrative London and South East markets.

We’re also working with GGBS suppliers in Sheerness, which has undertaken a similar expansion of its products into the UK market, investing in establishing an export hub at Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland.

As well as these growing companies, we also work with some of the major established players; handling cement for Tarmac (through its partner Premier Cement) and Cemex. The product arrives straight from origin and is transported down the Ship Canal to Pacific Way, Weast Wharf facility in Salford.

What we’ve learned from working with all of these companies is that they need a port partner that can work with them to streamline the supply chain.

To contact David please click HERE.

To find out more on the Manchester Ship Canal click HERE.

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