Why London Medway offers the ideal forest products hub

By Andrew Hunter, Sales Manager – London Medway

At Peel Ports we have always prided ourselves on offering the best facilities and comprehensive services for our forest products customers. The fact we handle and store around 1.3 million tonnes of bulk forest products a year is testament to this.

As part of our commitment to the sector, we have invested £40m into the development of our Wellmarsh site at Peel Ports London Medway, transforming the former Thamesteel site into flexible storage and purpose-built logistics facilities.

The redevelopment of the former steel mill forms part of our Sheerness Master Plan, a 20-year strategy for growth which launched in 2015. Our Master Plan represents our commitment to investment in the region of around £50million and includes plans to create around 200 new jobs.

With every investment we make, the needs of our customers are at the heart of every decision. Our customer-centric approach to logistics, means we tailor solutions to our individual customer’s needs and our investment at Wellmarsh opens up new opportunities for existing and new customers in the forest products sector.

By working with our customers, we understand their requirements and using our strategic network of ports and terminals across the UK we can create forward thinking solutions, which improve efficiencies and adds value to their supply chain.

A perfect example of this customer-centric approach is our new partnership with Rowlinson Timber, which saw us create a bespoke timber treatment facility here at Wellmarsh. 

Rowlinson Timber, a distributor, stockist and wholesaler of imported timber products, asked us for a site and facility that would allow them to grow with demand in the coming years, and alleviate disruption caused by the effect of tidal restrictions and lack of space at their previous port of call.

The answer: a custom-built facility at the Port of Sheerness. This includes a 26,000 sq.ft. timber treatment facility, a 12,700 sq.ft. covered storage area and 10-acres of open storage.

A strategic location is essential and the Wellmarsh site offers the ideal facility to serve key markets. While allowing Rowlinson Timber to continue to service their customers in the north of England, the site is within close proximity to London and the South East and offers improved access to its growing market for forest products, driven by the number of timber merchants, construction projects and requirements for construction materials in the area.

The company also has access to our other ports nationwide for one-off spot shipments when required via sea transport.

Wellmarsh has no berthing restrictions, with a water depth of 11 metres at all times of tide, that will enable customers like Rowlinson Timber to welcome in more vessels and carry more stock.

For our team however, it was not enough to rely on the natural advantages that the location offered alone.

As experts in tailor-made customer solutions, we visited Rowlinson Timber’s previous site to understand its operational set up and storage requirements in detail, ensuring though our collaborative approach - we deliver a smooth transition for both the client and its customers to the Port of Sheerness.

This in-depth understanding of Rowlinson Timber’s individual requirements and commitment to delivering added value culminated in the refurbishment of a 26,000 sq.ft. high-pressure timber treatment plant and a 12,700 sq.ft. undercover storage area to accommodate current and future predicted timber volumes.

Timber storage and treatment will be managed by Timber Commodity Leader, Tony Berllaque, and Peel Ports’ staff will manage the site using Rowlinson’s state or the art high pressure treatment machine to minimise errors and ensure smooth integration between customer ordering systems.

Rowlinson’s new facility will allow them to realise their aspirations for future growth and we plan to help more businesses like them as we reaffirm the Port of Sheerness’s position as the UK’s premier timber import and export hub. 

By amalgamating Wellmarsh’s strategic location with our bespoke solutions, material handling, services and management, we can offer customers flexible storage options and purpose-built logistics facilities for key industries, including wood products.

For more information on Peel Ports transformative logistics solutions for forest products click HERE

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