January 6, 2016 @ 15:01 by Alison Cowie
Teesside’s exports reached new heights as the biggest loaded cargo vessel in history ever to pass under Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge set sail for overseas markets.
The giant ship, Skala, which measures 172 metres long and 28 metres wide, docked at AV Dawson’s Teesside North Sea Supply Base Terminal last month and after loading 21,000 tonnes of cargo, set off for export markets in Europe.
Teesside-based logistics specialist, AV Dawson co-ordinated the full logistics process.
Gary Dawson, managing director, said: “The work that we’ve done over the last three years to dredge the river and develop our quayside as part of a multi-million pound master plan is now enabling us to attract multinational blue chip customers to transport more raw materials and finished products through Teesside and out to global markets. The investment programme included a purpose-built £3.4 million deepwater quay, providing us with greater capacity to support larger and more economical vessels, effectively opening up Teesside to more export opportunities.”
The enormous ship, which has a gross tonnage of 21,213 tonnes, was fully loaded with its cargo within just six days.
Gary continued: “Nowhere is the phrase ‘time is money’ more apt than when referring to shipping, so we employed two 100-tonne cranes simultaneously to speed up the loading process, reducing time in port and creating substantial savings for our customer, whilst enabling the vessel to be on its way as quickly as possible. Planning and cargo preparation were key to the successful completion of the MV Skala. At all stages of the operation; through transport and ship loading, our team worked in harmony with the customer, with safety being absolute priority at all times.
“The arrival of this large bulk carrier is a significant opportunity for Teesside and for AV Dawson. The largest ship previously to dock on our quay was around 12,500 tonnes, Skala is almost double that and takes us into a league of shipping and logistics of a whole different scale.
“This is also great news for British exports and with the current buzz around the Northern Powerhouse it’s particularly exciting to be celebrating this success here on Teesside.”