Bristol: a buzzing city, a port for automotives and, ahh, the home of FORWARDER magazine. So, what’s the South West’s position in the freight industry? Are there opportunities for growth? Let’s take a look at the latest market knowledge and the potential we’re currently sitting on…

Bristol is a prime location for shipping goods to and from the south west of the UK, providing key access to ocean carriers and bulky freight such as ro-ro (roll on, roll off) freight. Due to the access for marine services, there are freight opportunities for both deep-sea and short-sea container operators. Managing the port of Bristol, The Bristol Port Company handles containers that are imported to and exported from the Portbury and Avonmouth terminals.

The two terminals collectively cover a wide basis of freight: Portbury Container Terminal deals with larger vessels including the weekly MSC feeder from Antwerp, while Avonmouth Container Terminal handles smaller vessels at a fast turnaround time, designed for smaller volumes. The Bristol Port’s website says that   The consented Deep Sea Container Terminal will add a further 1.5m TEU. With berthing pockets dredged to 18 metres the new terminal will provide a key gateway for container ships – including the new generation of Ultra Large Container Ships – to access UK markets. We are ready to build as soon as market conditions are right.   

The South West – specifically Bristol – is well recognised for its access for imports of ro-ro freight. There are over 500 acres of car compound at the port, which provides a vast amount of space to store vehicles. Due to its location, accessibility and generous space near the port, Bristol’s main trade function is for motor vehicles, making it one of the most important areas for this type of freight.

Bristol’s port has expanded over the years, and the car compounds consist of 217 acres of common user storage, and around 600,0000 vehicles are handled each year. Furthermore, Bristol’s port has over two-million square feet of warehouses, which provides ideal storage facilities for imports. There are in-house IT experts on site who customise stock data, which gives customers control of the goods’ location, delivery and any logistics details. The warehouses provide services such as devanning, storage, picking, packing and dispatches.

Offering multiple services within the supply chain, Bristol’s port is no doubt an important place for freight.

Rachel Jefferies, Editor, FORWARDER magazine