The Port of Southampton is celebrating after being recognised as the UK number one in each of its three core businesses – cars, cruises and containers.
Long the UK’s leading cruise port, Southampton is now Europe’s number one turnaround cruise port – where some of the biggest cruise ships in the world begin and end their voyages
In cars the port has regained its title as the UK’s principle vehicle handling port, with a further 100,000 vehicles passing across the quayside in the past 12 months, taking the total to 750,000. Many of these are UK built Jaguars, BMW Minis, Rolls Royces and Land Rovers destined for export markets and helping boost the nation’s balance of trade.
The container terminal has not one but four claims to the coveted UK number one title, including being the most efficient and productive container port in the country. The cranes in Southampton operate at an average of 28 moves an hour – the highest rate in the UK. The terminal also has 36 per cent of its containers moved out by rail, the highest of any UK terminal, the fastest truck turnaround times in the country and the UK’s record of 651 crane moves in one 12 hour shift.
Southampton Port Director Doug Morrison said: “Our mission was to be the number one turnaround cruise port in Europe and we have delivered that. We have now recaptured our position as the number one car and vehicle port in the UK and we are the number one container terminal in the UK for efficiency and production. We have achieved all of this without any public subsidy or investment.
“The port is a huge success story for the region, not only in terms of the 12,000 jobs that are reliant on it but in terms of really putting Southampton on the map on the international stage.
“This UK number one position isn’t ours by right – this is the result of a lot of hard work and huge investment. If we want to stay ahead of the competition we must continue to develop our business and not rest on our laurels.”