Port needs more land for cars

MEDWAY Ports, the company operating the Port of Sheerness, wants more land close to the docks to park imported cars. Its parent company, Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, discloses this in its annual report published this month.

It says: "Medway Ports is in discussion for the acquisition of further land close to the Port of Sheerness to support anticipated growth in volumes of imported cars. In 2001 the number of vehicles handled rose to 411,000 from 388,000 the previous year, despite keen competition for the trade."

A £2million pre-delivery inspection centre, built by Medway Ports for Gefco UK, distribution arm of Peugeot Citroen, came on stream in the last three months of the year. The centre, alongside Gefco's 35-hectare car storage and distribution site at Lappel Bank, will prepare 200,000 new cars a year from France, Spain and Italy.

The report also says that fresh produce handled at Sheerness increased by 35.5 per cent in 2001. The total rose from 598,000 tonnes in 2000 to 810,000 tonnes. Much of the extra amount came from the shipment of 200 million Chiquita bananas, arriving in containers from South America.

The year also saw completion by Capespan International of a new £1.5million pre-packing plant to support the £35million fresh produce terminal and deep water berth.

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