Swedish ferry operator Stena Line and Associated British Ports (ABP) have entered into a £100m agreement to jointly develop a new freight terminal at the Port of Immingham after seeing “record” demand for freight services following Brexit.
The partnership is proposing the relocation of Stena Line’s current Immingham freight operations to a new site, adjacent to Immingham Outer Harbour.
Immingham owners ABP plan to submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the Secretary of State for Transport in early summer with a view to the new terminal facilities being operational in 2025
The two companies said the deal, which will see Stena Line operate the new terminal for the next 50 years, is a “major long-term commitment” which will boost the region and allow for expanded freight services.
Stena Line currently runs four daily freight services from the Humber to The Netherlands which the company said are “now in greater demand than ever before” with their North Sea routes moving record levels of freight in 2021, including a 28% year-on-year increase in unaccompanied freight.
The deal follows Stena Line’s relocation of its Rotterdam freight service to the Port of Immingham at the start of the year. The move has allowed the company to become the provider of both the terminal and shipping operations, which has enabled it to offer expanded freight services.
In a statement the partnership said: “With freight levels continuing to grow for the company, Stena Line needs to add capacity and expand its operations at Immingham. It requires a long-term solution that has access to the main Humber Estuary.
“This would allow for quicker sailing times and the option to use larger vessels to cater for increased freight demand from exporters and importers from across the region and the rest of the UK.”
The proposals outline the relocation of Stena Line’s current Immingham freight operations to a new site, adjacent to Immingham Outer Harbour, where ABP will develop a new purpose-built terminal facility.
Niclas Martensson, Stena Line chief executive, said: "We are very pleased to announce that we will now take the next steps in the strategic vision for our routes between the UK and Continental Europe.
“Our freight levels are at record levels and are continuing to increase, so we want to build on this success and provide additional services to our most important business needs, those of our customers, with the development of a brand new terminal and berths at the Port of Immingham.
“Stena Line is pledging a significant long-term commitment that will bring a substantial boost to the region’s economy in terms of jobs and revenue. We look forward to working with Associated British Ports to develop this exciting project."
Simon Bird, Associated British Ports Humber director, added: “We’re delighted to welcome this new deal with Stena as it underlines the fact that ABP in the Humber is continuing to go from strength to strength.
“Stena will be joining a growing family of commercial partners who are choosing to use ABP’s ports in the Humber which have fantastic facilities and connections for traders across Europe and beyond.
“Our track record in recent years of investing in new infrastructure is making the Humber the place to be for trading links between the Midlands and North of England, and the rest of the World."