Our ports' role in delivering Christmas

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 22 Dec 2017

WITH the exception of Santa, hauling presents on his sled across the world, little thought is given to how Christmas actually comes to be in the UK.

The Humber ports hold many of the answers. 

At Immingham, from the Christmas tree, erected in Trafalgar Square earlier this month, to the twinkling lights which adorn your house, without a reindeer in sight, the port manages to bring you the Christmas that you know and love, while the increasing container traffic into both the UK’s number one port, and Hull, make sure many of the presents under the tree are catered for too.

Simon Bird, pictured, director for ABP Humber said: “The ports across our island nation really do keep our country running with an astonishing 95 per cent of the UK’s trade being seaborne. The four Humber ports especially, located in Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole see around 65 million tonnes of cargo being brought in and out of the UK.

“In Immingham, we handle every conceivable type of cargo and that becomes more evident at this time of the year.”

A total of 175,000 containers will have been handled in Immingham alone this year, while neighbouring Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal handles enough energy cargoes to keep one in 10 of the country’s lights on. The increased supply of biomass, a renewable commodity which is imported largely from North America in the form of wood pellet, is sent to Drax power station, four times a day via train. The pellets are then burnt in the newly converted generators, which creates electricity to supply nearly eight per cent of the nation’s homes.

From Grimsby too, offshore wind has become a huge factor for the port, with Race Bank having just been fully installed, the sixth wind farm operated and maintained from the town, bringing 1,466 MW of installed capacity to the national grid from 328 turbines. That’s another 1.4 million homes, ovens and light displays.

For the 70th year running, Immingham has also been involved in the safe delivery of Trafalgar Square’s very own Christmas tree. A gift from Oslo, Norway, the proud 20 metre tall tree is brought over from Scandinavia and is handled at Immingham’s port, before being transported to the south by road.  

For the first time this year, the port that delivers Christmas has itself been decorated, bringing festive cheer to the thousands of people who work there.

The ports on the Humber will continue operating throughout this holiday season, with vessels being worked 24/7 to ensure that Britain keeps trading throughout the holidays.

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