A growing industrial services firm is continuing its voyage of discovery by working with a major shipping group.
In just three years, Middlesbrough-based Group Industrial has quickly grown from a fledgeling firm to become a trusted supplier of many aspects of industrial services work, including fabrication, insulation, scaffolding, rope access, pipework and project management.
Previously in Tees Business, we told how the firm – based at Dawson’s Wharf in Middlesbrough – was undertaking the “preservation” of a sprawling 120-acre site at Port Clarence, which is home to a so-far unused biomass power station.
And eager to branch out into new areas, the firm also told how it was moving into the shipping sector – a natural “fit”, perhaps, given its Dawson’s Wharf location.
But now that move into shipping has moved up several notches thanks to a growing relationship with a maritime-based neighbour.
Just along the river, A&P Tees – part of global ship repair, conversion, and marine specialists A&P Group – is widely recognised as a centre of excellence for offshore vessels, dredgers and tankers.
A&P’s five-acre Tees facility comprises two dry docks and 240 metres of jetty frontage, complemented by extensive workshops, cranes of up to 40 tonnes and secure tank washing facilities. It can also build offshore modules, subsea structures and new ship sections on site.
With Group Industrial being just along the river at Dawson’s Wharf, it was perhaps logical to link up.
And according to Group Industrial MD Mike Marsh, the relationship has been plain sailing so far.
He said: “We’ve been working with A&P, on a reactive basis, for eight months now, providing scaffolding and fabrication works. We’ve worked closely with them and grown our relationship.
“It’s a reactive industry, shipping – they undertake various contracts and different scopes of work.
And the relationship with them is going from strength to strength.
“We are working closely with the company to tailor an effective system which supports the bespoke requirements of each specific project undertaken by A&P Shipping.
“It’s something we’re confident will continue to grow into a strong, ongoing relationship.”
Mike explained their work for A&P ranges from maintenance work on cranes and in the shipyard to the provision of scaffolding to vessels that come along the Tees – either to A&P’s own yards or further along the Tees to Dawson’s Wharf itself.
“I suppose that, to an extent, it’s been a case of ‘right place, right time’ – being local and being by the river. Where I’m based at Dawson’s Wharf, they often have ships docked there and we’re effectively within walking distance.
“We’re doing maintenance work on their Smith’s Dock site – cranes, scaffolding, fabrication work and general yard maintenance – but we’re also providing a scaffolding service on the shipping side when vessels dock or go into dry dock. And there are some hefty vessels that come in!”
Mike hopes to attract more work in the shipping sector as the firm’s skill set grows.
“It’s remarkably interesting for us but we always like to structure our service to each specific sector, as we are fully understanding and aware that each sector holds different challenges overall.
“The Group Industrial team can maintain high standards of quality and practices while adapting to suit the demands of the different sector’s environment and scenarios. Our philosophy to learn and adapt to new sectors is the result of the ongoing growth and success of the business.
“It’s been really successful so far – we’ve already built up a strong relationship and understanding of the A&P model.
“It’s something we’ve been working on for a while, but a lot of the success comes from being reactive. We help people out, continue to do so and our contracts generally grow from that.
“They can bring ships in that need turning round quickly, sometimes in a matter of hours, so being reactive is key to them.
“The A&P projects are based on efficient delivery and execution of works. Our ability to remain local and reactive to unforeseen requirements is a key element to ensure we can eliminate delays to projects where necessary.”