Land acquisition sets ambition steaming at specialist terminal

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 21 Sep 2017

Ambitious plans to expand a dedicated bulk handling facility in northern Lincolnshire are being explored after recent investment secured additional development land adjacent to the existing terminal.

New Holland Bulk Services, operating since 1983 from the original ferry pier that once provided the South Bank shore link for the Humber river crossing, is planning to maximise the capabilities of the site.  While the Victorian passenger terminus from the time before the bridge remain very much a feature, three operational berths served by high volume conveying equipment has replaced the rails providing efficient discharge and loading facilities at what is 'a gem' of a specialist port location.

Owned by HES International, NHBS is the only UK operation in a European portfolio of 19 sites across eight countries.

HES International is one of Europe’s largest independent bulk handling companies. 

While five 750 tonne silos dominate the skyline, there is more than 277,000 cubic metres of covered storage on site as well as an acre and a half of concrete hardstanding.  A further eight acres of development land, including four acres acquired earlier this year, are available on a satellite site a few hundred yards away from the terminal, alongside three impressive bulk warehouse units, with the original four warehouses located shoreside of the jetty served by the conveyor system. 

Accredited to handle grain and feeds, including organic crops, NHBS has been providing bulk handling and storage solutions to the UK agricultural sector for more than 30 years.  However, the value added services provided by a 26-strong team of staff such as screening, bagging, weighing and sampling mean that NHBS has become port of choice for cargoes associated with renewable energy, construction, quarrying, production and manufacturing.   

Managing director, Rob Grimbleby, said: “We’ve seen a significant amount of change in the dry bulks markets over recent years, especially in the energy sector where coal volumes have plummeted as new generation technologies have been developed.  There has also been a decline in wheat exports with lower quality material now being used in the production of bio-fuels.  We've therefore had to identify new markets and are now handling cargoes such as minerals for the construction and manufacturing sectors.” 

NHBS is strategically located just a few minutes drive from the UK motorway network at Barnetby Top, and can accommodate vessels of 6,000 DWT, typically from northern Europe, the Baltic and Iberia. There is a rail connection, albeit currently disused.   

Justin Atkin of Barton-based ports and logistics consultancy Ragged Edge, who has been working with the team at NHBS on business development and marketing, was keen to emphasise the clear potential for the site to expand its facilities and services.   

“The bulk handling and storage facilities here at New Holland are really impressive,” he said. “Cargo is loaded or discharged really efficiently and the quality of the warehousing is exceptional. 

“The terminal offers a range of value added services to support the needs of clients and the team works hard to ensure the very best customer experience.  

“An extra 1,000 tonnes of deadweight capacity could make a significant difference and so we are looking at what can be done to increase the size of vessel that we can safely handle on the jetty as this will open up new markets including North Africa.   

“The development land will allow the terminal to expand and would actually be an excellent site for a manufacturer using bulk materials to consider relocating to.”

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