Monday, March 23, 2015

New Chilled Distribution Centre Adjacent to Container Terminal to Minimise Food Miles

Major Investment for Port and Provisions Groups
Shipping News Feature

UK – The Port of Tilbury is to develop a £20 million state-of-the art temperature-controlled distribution centre in a deal between owners Forth Ports and food supply chain group NFT Distribution. The intention is to construct a 230,000 square foot building located within the port estate adjacent to the London Container Terminal (LCT) making it one of the largest refrigerated quayside facilities in Europe.

Itself one of the major reefer terminals in Europe, with over 1400 points and onsite examination services for customs clearance, LCT should provide a perfect synergy with the new NFT terminal and its state of the art, controlled chilled facility. NFT claims to be the UK’s market leader in chilled food distribution and the new facility is expected to create 500 new jobs. David Frankish, Chief Executive Officer of NFT commented:

“This ‘PortCentric’ extension to NFT’s offering and substantial expansion to our chilled warehousing capacity in the South East will be a further step in defining our future development and growth as a key innovator of logistics services for the UK and global food industry. We deliver £11 billion worth of food products (at retail value) to UK retailers and manufacturers each year and NFT has experienced major success borne of its ability to provide integrated solutions to complex logistical challenges. We look forward to the centre opening later this year and we are confident of its commercial success based on the level of enquiries this new platform is generating already.”

The distribution centre is targeted to be open for business by late 2015. It will have capacity for 25,000 pallets and be able to handle more than 2.5 million cases per week. NFT’s research identified this facility will create value and efficiencies in its supply chain and make a considerable contribution towards minimising food miles. Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports said:

“This is a very significant announcement for the Port of Tilbury and we are delighted to be working with NFT to create one of the largest temperature-controlled facilities in Europe at our port. Being located at London’s major port at Tilbury, this new distribution centre will be at the heart of the logistics process and support NFT’s goal to ensure a seamless experience for their major customers in the UK.

“We are proud to build further on our already well established reputation for the receipt and handling of fresh produce. Ports are a key part of an efficient supply chain and with the additional land assets available it makes sense, both financially and from a customer service point of view, for businesses to use the port not only as an import/export service but as a logistics hub.”

Photo: L to R: Perry Glading (Port of Tilbury), David Frankish (NFT) and Charles Hammond (Forth Ports).