The last few months have witnessed story after story about new warehouses being built at ports, to house a variety of dry bulk products. Despite total port tonnages being on the wane - due largely to the move away from carbon-based fuels – the import of products ranging from animal feed to fertilisers to dry chemicals is on the up. As such, large, dry sheds with access for trucks and handling equipment are in great demand and short supply.
Most people pondering cargo through ports think about container ships and oil tankers, but tens of millions of tonnes of dry bulk cargo pass through UK ports each year, and the port of entry is often the best place to store them. This cuts out an unnecessary leg in the supply chain, with the product then moving directly from the port to where it’s going to be used.
Big sheds for storing a wide variety of products need to:
- be water-tight and secure – that goes without saying
- next to the quayside, which must be equipped with relevant discharge gear
- be designed to maximise storage volumes
- have moveable walls to flex for different volumes and product types
- manage effective pest control and cross-contamination elimination
- have suitable lighting and hazard-compliance accreditation and be easily capable of meeting all required accreditations
- be designed for quick cleaning and turn-around of space from one cargo to another
- be fitted out with haulier facilities, weighbridges and all the requirements for a modern bulk facility
So, it’s not just a matter of four walls and a roof, not to mention the use of valuable quayside land. Hence, building big sheds at ports is by no means a trivial investment, and needs to be based on a solid business case.
Peel Ports is investing £28m in a new 240,000 sq ft dry bulks facility in Liverpool, which ticks all the boxes above. It will greatly increase the amount of dry bulks storage in the port, gaining efficiencies from its dedication to dry bulk cargoes. Watch this space from May 2024!