UK ports continue to expand with huge lockdown demand

While the rest of the UK is in lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many essential workers are ensuring the country doesn’t come to a complete halt.

The port sector is one such industry that is essential to the smooth running of the UK, allowing the flow of goods to continue in these difficult times.

Port of Tilbury, which erected a 30m twin span x 78m long Rubb storage structure in 2019, gave some insight into the numbers behind the flow of goods in March. Their post on social media revealed that Tilbury’s ‘quay’ workers were responsible for the movement of a huge amount of essential goods.

2,700 tonnes of medical supplies, 27,000 tonnes of fertiliser, 50,000 tonnes of animal feed, and 3.8 million bottles of soap were all processed through the port in March. They also helped keep our supermarket shelves stocked, with 40,000 tonnes of food including 8,500 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, 2.5m packs of pasta, 4.75 million tins of food, and enough fruit juice to fill 5.6m cartons. 74,000 tonnes of wheat also passed through the London port, which is enough to make 148 million loaves of bread.

Port of Tilbury was even instrumental in the construction of temporary NHS Nightingale Hospitals to help deal with the influx of COVID-19 patients. Plywood from Tilbury and Grangemouth was used to build the hospitals in London and Birmingham, as well as NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow.

And yes, Tilbury did their part in easing the toilet roll crisis by facilitating 6,200 tonnes of tissue paper, which can also be used for pharmaceutical and food packing in addition to the much sought-after rolls.

Further demonstrating the growth of the port sector, the Port of Blythe has announced their plans to commence a £3 million terminal redevelopment. The plans were underway before the COVID-19 crisis, but the pandemic hasn’t affected their commitment to the redevelopment which is set to be completed in November 2020. The plans include infrastructure improvements such as a kilometre of new roads being installed to bolster access, extensive earthworks to level the development site, and the reconstruction of the quay on their Bates Terminal site.

The Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, Martin Lawlor, commented: “Commencing these works is another major milestone in the development of Port of Blyth. While the reconstruction of the quay will provide increased flexibility and availability at a time when demand is high, the earthworks on site will open up exciting opportunities for redevelopment on areas of the existing terminal and recently acquired land.”

Both of these stories go to show that the port industry is in a very strong position, despite any concerns about the current pandemic. The industry looks set for even more growth in the coming years, and Rubb will continue to supply solutions for this expansion.

Rubb has a long history of supplying port storage structures, and for good reason. Rubb structures are built to last, with hot-dip galvanized steel frames and durable PVC membranes. Resistant to corrosion and harsh weather, Rubb structures are a great pick for port-side locations. In addition, whole Rubb projects can be relocated, expanded, dismantled and stored or even sold to new users. Rubb’s fabric structures represent a stable investment and an ideal solution for all logistical needs.