Pentalver is preparing to open its London Gateway depot next month, bolstering the container haulier’s operation in the South East.

Speaking to at last week's Multimodal show in Birmingham, MD Chris Lawrenson said construction of the 5.5 acre depot is expected to be completed in mid May, ready for it to begin operating on 1 June.

“We’re the only container operator that’s actually on the port itself, so that gives us a bit of a leg-up,” said Lawrenson. “We’ve come up with something that the customers needed and it adds something to the port and to our operation.”

A nine acre site has been taken from London Gateway operator DP World and Pentalver hopes to begin developing the rest of the site within the next five years when more shipping lines begin to use the port.

The operator also downsized its Tilbury depot from 8.5 acres to six to allow it to “tone down” is presence at the Essex port as more shipping lines move their services to London Gateway.

Lawrenson said the company has also seen demand for some of its more specialist services including cargo handling and container conversions.

“In the last year we opened up our specialist haulage division in Southampton so we’re now getting involved in abnormal loads,” Lawrenson said. "We’re not going to get rich on basic container haulage and container storage, so we’re asking what value-added services can we bring into that to bolster the core business?”

The haulier has also placed an order for 52 Scania G-series units with Keltruck, which will start entering operation in time for the Christmas peak.

“We’ve invested in some purpose-built trailers with low loader equipment and in January we took delivery of our first wafer deck trailer, which is great because it allows us to get involved in things we could not do before,” added Lawrenson.