3 ways we support the growing machinery imports into the UK

Recent changes in global and domestic markets, compounded by Brexit, have led to an increase in direct shipments to UK of agriculture, construction and mining machinery. Find out how our Southampton terminal is equipped to improve your UK supply chain.

Machinery imports

Traditionally seen as an export terminal for construction, agriculture and mining machinery, Southampton has been well positioned as a hub for delivering products to the world market. However, a combination of Brexit and changes in global markets has resulted in an increase in goods being imported directly into the UK.

As the gateway to the UK dealerships and job sites, our Southampton terminal presents machinery OEMs with direct access to their UK market.

“We’re seeing more global shippers realise the benefits of direct shipment into Southampton,” says Paul Barker, director and general manager for port operations and terminals at Wallenius Wilhelmsen UK. “It’s becoming more cost efficient for companies as they can not only access their UK markets more quickly but can also take advantage of our value-added services.”

1. Direct UK port call provides greater cost and time efficiencies

Previously, global OEMs would generally ship their UK bound machines to the European mainland before being distributed to the UK by truck or short sea shipment.

Brexit means that the UK is now a third country in customs terms, so goods destined for here now remain aboard vessels until they reach Southampton. Unsurprisingly, import volumes coming directly into the port have risen by up to 200% in the past nine months.

Removing that extra European leg of the journey not only speeds up time to market and lowers costs, but it also ensures customers have greater availability of inventory in the UK. Whereas previously Southampton would have received relatively low volumes of imports arriving directly from Asia and the Americas, most vessels are now carrying greater volumes and those levels are increasing.

“For our agriculture, construction and mining OEMs, the change has helped reduce their costs as they don’t have to worry about shipping machinery to the UK after it has reached mainland Europe,” Barker says.

Southampton terminal

Increased volumes of agriculture, construction and mining machinery at Southampton terminal

2. Offering EPC services for a seamless supply chain

Shipping directly is just one piece of the logistics puzzle – ensuring products are in dealer-ready condition is equally important.

To support customers in preparing their products for end customers, we have expanded our service offering. Instead of being a port and cargo terminal with goods delivered, stored and shipped, Southampton is now in a position to provide EPC services.

Currently, we can offer small scale processing services and adaptations from fitting buckets on diggers to fitting data tracking to machines. As the market develops, these services will increase.

"We’re at the early stages of our processing support, but it’s advancing quickly. Our target is to provide customers with a seamless shipping and logistics service into the UK,” says Barker.

3. Providing full terminal services to boost supply chain velocity

On top of the developing EPC services, Southampton is also offering customs clearance, storage and load building ahead of distribution to UK dealerships and job sites.

Furthermore, while most of the machinery imports to Southampton are arriving on our vessels, OEMs arriving with other shipping lines can procure our terminal services as well.

“We see all these value-added services growing in line with customer demand and we will work in partnership with them to help improve their UK supply-chain," says Barker.

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