UK terminal loses shipping firm and staff

Maersk containers Portico can no longer accommodate Maersk’s larger ships. Image: Portico

A UK terminal faces a blow this week as it prepares for redundancies with the loss of a major company’s container ship calls, which it can no longer accommodate.

Portsmouth City Council-owned Portico, which operates a deep water cargo terminal at Portsmouth International Port, said that Maersk would no longer be doing business with Portico as its newer ships are too big for the terminal’s current facilities. This means the company, formerly known as MMD Shipping, is being forced to consider redundancies in a restructure, although it told Port Strategy it could not currently confirm the number of jobs at risk.

Steve Williams, Portico’s operations director, said: “We have exhausted every option to find a way to accommodate Maersk’s larger ships, but their change in fleet is beyond current capacity for Portico.

“Unfortunately that means the Maersk service moving away from Portsmouth.

“We had fought for a different outcome, but sadly, as a result we have to look at restructuring the workforce

“We’re now in a period of consultation with staff and will be speaking to everyone directly about how this affects them.

Mr Williams noted that the size of Maersk’s new ships means that they can only call at a limited number of UK ports with adequate capacity.

Portico will now focus on diversification, long term relationships with businesses and revisiting business opportunities.

In December, Geest Line began using Portico’s terminal again after leaving because of scheduling difficulties.

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