The port operator said that the 17-year tonnage-handling milestone of just over 421,690t was achieved thanks to its programme of continuous investment in port infrastructure and equipment, as well as Brett Aggregates’ investment in a new processing plant and rail capacity at the port.
By comparison with 2016, the year 2017 saw the handling of an extra 90,361t by the port, representing a 27% year-on-year increase.
Brett Aggregates operates a terminal within the Port of Ipswich where marine-dredged aggregates arrive by ship from East Coast UK offshore sites. Material is stored and processed on site for delivery to customers by road, rail or sea for use in concrete manufacture and other construction projects in and around the capital.
“These improvements have increased our annual capacity and further strengthen our ability to respond to demand as opportunities arise,” said Adam Smith, general manager, Eastern, Brett Aggregates. “Our team on site and our close relationship with the team at ABP have been key to delivering the upgrades.”
Other highlights last year included ABP Ipswich and Brett Aggregates winning the annual Rail Freight Group (RFG) Community and Environmental Responsibility Award for their work in developing a new rail-based flow from the Port of Ipswich to London Concrete in Watford.
ABP said the new rail flow has brought significant environmental and community benefits, when compared with road transport. Since January 2016, nearly 100,000t of product have been transported by rail as a result of this project, representing more than a fifth of Brett Aggregates’ throughput at the Port of Ipswich. Each 1,100t trainload removes nearly 40 lorry movements from the UK road system. Delivering this volume would have meant nearly 750,000 road miles, some 46,000 miles each month, or nearly twice the circumference of the earth.
Andrew Harston, ABP short sea ports director, said: “We are proud to have worked with our customers Brett Aggregates to enable them to set a new 17-year volume record at ABP Ipswich, and we are committed to continuing to improve port facilities to contribute to further business growth in 2018.
“By working closely together with Brett Aggregates, we have not only won new business to rail and to the Port of Ipswich, we have also successfully rolled out new to rail business projects, which will improve connectivity and facilitate sustainable growth by moving product by rail.”