'Business as usual' for Hull shipping giant Samskip despite Brexit uncertainty

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 10 Dec 2018

Shipping giant Samskip has pledged its commitment to Hull by saying it is “business as usual” despite continued political uncertainty.

The Dutch-headquartered global logistics company switched Humber ports from Immingham to Hull in the summer, and also recently increased its sailings between the city and countries including Belgium and the Netherlands.

Now – in the middle of a critical time for UK and EU relations – Samskip has stood firm on its Hull operations.

Andy Foulds, Samskip UK sales director, said: “Under normal circumstances, offering to run ‘business as usual’ is not news, but the impending Brexit makes it the freight industry news that business is crying out for.

“The months ahead will see uncertainty for companies trading goods between the UK and the EU and businesses are looking to secure their supply chains.

Samskip switched from Immingham to Hull in the summer. (© 2016 Richard Walker/ImageNorth)

“Samskip is moving cargo for blue chip customers now which have never done business with us before and which seek containerised transportation solutions to ensure the availability of their products on the shelves.”

The call of support for the Humber comes on the back of two years of pre-Brexit investment for Samskip.

Samskip’s Brexit preparations began in early 2017, with the introduction of larger tonnage on its Rotterdam-UK routes.

Preparation accelerated in 2018 to include the launch of a new three-times a week Amsterdam to Hull service, and a separate link between Antwerp and Hull.

The logistics company has offices in 24 countries across the world – including Hull – and employs around 1,500 people.

The Port of Hull has forged a new connection with Belgium. (ABP)

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Samskip was originally founded in Iceland.

Mr Foulds also addressed concerns with overcrowding at UK ports, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“Lack of space at UK ferry ports introduces the prospect of delays and trucking queues returning as goods are customs cleared,” Mr Foulds said.

Read more: Profits rise but Brexit concerns linger for haulier Neill & Brown

“This influences where drivers want to work at a time when there is already a Europe-wide shortage of drivers. It’s a real concern to our customers.

“Samskip has verified that its UK port operations have ample capacity to cope with longer clearance processes.”

The vote of confidence in the Humber comes a day before the crunch-time Brexit deal vote in Parliament.

MPs will have their say on the deal put forward by Prime Minister Theresa May, as businesses prepare themselves for the effects of whatever the outcome may be.

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Source article: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/

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