Friday, August 15, 2014

By Thunder - Thor Hammers Home Heavy Duty Shipping Cargoes

Swedish Freight Group Opens New Base and Extends Routes
Shipping News Feature

SWEDEN – UK – Thor has established its first UK base at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Hull. Obviously not the hammer-wielding God of thunder, but the Swedish shipping company which operates three vessels whose name all relate to Norse mythology, the Odin, the Alrek and the Frej, and will now use the former Transatlantic terminal for handling 300,000 tonnes of steel and other cargoes each year.

The route, through Sweden, Hull, Amsterdam and Antwerp will also pick up dolomite in the UK and Thor is confident that the addition of Antwerp will ensure the route remains viable. The company has also seen one of the world’s largest facilities for burning refuse-derived fuel (RDF) built close to its headquarters in Västerås, Sweden. ABP Business Development Manager Humber, Gareth Russell said:

“This deal will bring more investment into the Port of Hull and will secure and create jobs going forward. We’re delighted Thor has come in, and we hope to have a long and successful partnership with the company.”

Eric Hjalmarsson Director, Thor Shipping & Transport AB believes a long-term deal with steel maker SSAB will also give the route added security, and as well as the 140,000 tonnes of steel, a large volume of which is transported to the Midlands by train straight from the quayside, Thor also handle armoured steel plate for the defence industry. Hjalmarsson said:

“We have the combination with Antwerp, which is bringing some additional business to the service. We’re also looking at a growing waste-for-energy market. We see a perfect balance in shipping steel to the UK and shipping waste back as a base cargo.

“We will be successful with this [partnership] because we’re a small organisation with fewer overheads. We have a good agreement with ABP and we’ve also signed a five-year contract with SSAB for their steel, which is the longest contract they’ve ever signed. Hull is a very good location for the UK base as it’s very close to a big area of production.”