Cranes here by March

THE first two gantry cranes will be delivered by ship in an assembled state to the Outer Harbour at the end of March next year.The £30m first phase of the terminal - the fruits of a joint venture between EastPort's parent company International Port Holdings and leading global port group PSA International - would then be operating by September.

THE first two gantry cranes will be delivered by ship in an assembled state to the Outer Harbour at the end of March next year.

The £30m first phase of the terminal - the fruits of a joint venture between EastPort's parent company International Port Holdings and leading global port group PSA International - would then be operating by September.

Releasing this image of a working container terminal, Eddie Freeman, chief executive of harbour operator EastPort UK, said vessels up to 200m or longer with a draft of 10m would be delivering 20ft and 40ft containers carrying everything from children's toys to liquor and food stuffs.

The new harbour will cater for the both the short sea trade - ships bringing containers from Dutch, Belgian and German ports - and mid sea trade, from destinations as far away as the Caribbean, South Arica and the east Mediterranean.


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Mr Freeman said: “The short sea vessels will be able to be unloaded and in and out inside eight hours but the bigger ships will take considerably longer.”

The bulk of the freight would then be transported west by lorry to destinations in the Midlands.

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A further two cranes - as in the picture - are likely to be added in a second phase, the time-scale depending on the port's success.

Mr Freeman said the harbour was receiving a “positive response” in his negotiations with prospective users despite the economic downturn. He said talks with the ferry industry were still ongoing, but admitted that clinching a ro-ro ferry service to Holland was more likely to be achieved when the recession had bottomed out.

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