QUESTER 5 - Report on visit to SOUTHAMPTON CONTAINER PORT - February 2020
A group of twelve visited DP World who run Southampton Container Port. Security was very tight when we entered the premises and checked into their offices. The visit started with a one-hour slide presentation explaining the background of the company and it’s national and global position. The process for moving containers around the port was explained. This started with lorries needing to book a timed entry to the port to deliver or pick up containers. From that point on the whole process is very slick with a very fast average turnaround for lorries of 30 minutes. Every container is tracked at every stage of the supply chain. Their website enables a live search to identify exactly where an individual cargo is in the process. There are five quays for docking and one is able to take the largest container ships of over 400m in length.
After the presentation we all climbed into a minibus for a tour of the port from the point where the lorries enter and exit the port and then we followed the journey of individual containers to the berths where there were three container ships in the process of loading. The movement and precision of the mobile cranes by their drivers high up in their cabs was impressive as was the massive height and reach of the static cranes required to load the vast container ships. The importance of rail freight was also explained with over one third of movement on from the port by rail rather than road.
This was a very interesting and enjoyable visit thanks to the enthusiasm of our hosts.