An interconnected North is the key to economic success

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PD Ports Geoff Lippitt

PD Ports Business Development Director Geoff Lippitt explains why portcentric logistics solution suits many modern businesses…

Recent months have seen an increase in focus on the economic prosperity of the North and the potential to become a dynamic counterweight, complementing the thriving London and South-east economy.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced last year the ‘Northern Futures’ consultation which seeks to build on the North’s strength with an economic core at its heart. Prior to this in June, the Chancellor launched his ‘One North’ report and committed to investing £15b in the Northern transport infrastructure.

Critical to the success of the North’s economic prosperity will be the interrelationships between the private sector and the LEPs as well as efficient transport links. If the private sector doesn’t lead the way with the requirements for the northern transport infrastructure, the right decisions will not be made.

Improved logistics, including better use of our rail network and waterways was a key feature in the ‘One North’ report. PD Ports was acknowledged in the report as the leading developer of portcentric logistics. PD Ports’ Teesport facility on the North-East coast has the potential to further attract logistics activity to sites with efficient low cost transport networks.

Portcentric logistics creates an efficient green link to enhance companies international supply chains. Bringing goods direct to port located importation or distribution centres eliminates unnecessary road miles routing goods inland only to reroute them back out to their final destination.

In recent years there has been a significant step change in this approach to logistics supply chains and PD Ports has been at the forefront of this shift. Switching for port located sites or those in the peripheral hinterland, has taken cost out of the supply chain in terms of saved road miles and has also met the challenge of CSR obligations with a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

One of the key factors in PD Ports’ success is collaboration, as Geoff Lippitt, PD Ports’ Business Development Director, explains: “Portcentric logistics is not a new concept nor is the idea of port based distribution centres. There are clear reasons and clearer evidence why a portcentric logistics solution suits many modern businesses. And having helped some of the UK’s leading retailers, importers and exporters to simplify their freight, warehousing and distribution and minimise logistics costs, we believe the facts speak for themselves.

“Our approach is simple. We work in partnership with our customers to identify their logistics needs and develop the right solution that will continue to adapt as their needs change. This doesn’t necessarily mean being located directly at the port and by working collaboratively with development agencies as well as local land owners we can find the right solution within the local hinterland.

“Moving the goods from port located distribution centres to their final destination on the already heavily congested UK road network is becoming less viable. Supply chains are under increasing pressure to move goods through the network faster and more efficiently. And for that we have a unique solution.

“Being the best connected feeder port in the UK, Teesport is well placed to offer importers and exporters a direct route to Europe and worldwide. Our daily feeder connections from Felixstowe to Teesport enable customers to move their goods North of the UK, avoiding the road network and reducing unnecessary costs. We have also announced an investment of over £3M in a new intermodal rail terminal at Teesport.

“The construction of a new, open access rail terminal by PD Ports was recently completed welcoming intermodal rail connections from Teesport to Felixstowe and Southampton. Opportunities for the establishment of further new routes to Scotland, the Midlands and the North West are expected in line with market demand.

“Both ‘One North’ and the ‘Northern Futures’ consultation emphasise the critical importance of transport and infrastructure as being key to the economic prosperity of the North. Our aim is to work closely with our existing and potential customers; as well as the local LEP, development agencies and land owners/agents to stimulate business investment and opportunity whilst further strengthening the overall image of the North.”

In November PD Ports attended the Northern Futures Summit in Leeds. The summit, convened by Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, offered business leaders, local government, policy leaders and academics, the opportunity to share their views on the ‘Northern Futures’ consultation and how it can help to strengthen the North’s economic prosperity.


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