Niche UK port terminals operator Solent Stevedores has expanded operations to Saint-Malo in France, with the creation of a new affiliate, Saint-Malo Stevedores
The company, currently with stevedoring operations in 13 port locations, has committed to invest €1M in new equipment at the Port of Saint-Malo, the Brittany port in the western Channel having also secured a €200,000 grant from the port’s owner, the Brittany region. The investment includes the purchase of new ro-ro tractors, forklifts and a loading shovel.
The dockers were formerly employed by Saint-Malo Manutention, but in June 2020 this company was forced into liquidation by the traffic crisis caused by the pandemic, leading to a summer of protests.
The new affiliate, Saint-Malo Stevedores, was set up at the end of September 2020. The operations are undertaken by 14 dockers and a two-strong management team, and will see up to 200,000 tpa of dry bulk and breakbulk cargo pass through the port each year and in excess of 500,000 passengers - in a normal year, says Solent Stevedores.
The dockers were formerly employed by Saint-Malo Manutention, but in June 2020 this company was forced into liquidation by the traffic crisis caused by the pandemic, leading to a summer of protests by redundant workers.
Stuart Cullen, founder of Solent Stevedores said: “We’re very excited to be expanding to Saint-Malo and we’re looking forward to a positive and progressive future in France. We’re proud to be here and grateful for the welcoming support we’ve received from our own dockers, the Brittany Region, Edeis [the engineering company that manages the port on behalf of the regional government] and all the port’s customers.”
Hans Uiterdijk, Director of Saint-Malo Stevedores, said: “We have a real opportunity to develop operations beyond the current cargo traffic that we’re seeing and we hope that with the experience brought into the port from Solent Stevedores, we could potentially create some synergies to import cargo from the UK.”