Humber set for jobs boost as Associated British Ports signs £100m agreement with ferry giant Stena Line

Ferry company Stena Line has entered a £100m 50 year agreement with Associated British Ports (ABP) to jointly develop a new freight terminal at the Port of Immingham, a move which the two organisations said would boost the economy and create jobs.

In what both parties termed a “major long-term commitment and boost for the region”, the deal reflects an uplift in traffic into the Humber ports in recent years.

Stena Line, one of the largest ferry operators in the world, currently runs 18 routes with 37 vessels operating between 13 countries across Northern Europe.

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It currently runs four daily freight services from the Humber to Holland.

ABP Immingham

A spokesperson said that these important services are now in greater demand than ever before and are expected to increase further, with 2021 having seen its North Sea routes moving record levels of freight, including a 28 per cent year-on-year increase in unaccompanied freight.

At the start of the year Stena Line relocated its Rotterdam freight service to Immingham, a port owned by ABP, allowing the company to become the provider of both the terminal and shipping operations.

A spokesperson said: “With freight levels continuing to grow for the company, Stena Line needs to add capacity and expand its operations at Immingham.

“It requires a long-term solution that has access to the main Humber Estuary. This would allow for quicker sailing times and the option to use larger vessels to cater for increased freight demand from exporters and importers from across the region and the rest of the UK.”

Simon Bird - ABP

The proposals outline the relocation of Stena Line’s current Immingham freight operations to a new site, adjacent to Immingham Outer Harbour, where ABP will develop a new purpose built terminal facility.

The proposals will allow the company to further expand its services by providing increased freight capacity for its customers.

Niclas Martensson, chief executive, of Stena Line said: “We are very pleased to announce that we will now take the next steps in the strategic vision for our routes between the UK and continental Europe.

"Our freight levels are at record levels and are continuing to increase, so we want to build on this success and provide additional services to our most important business needs, those of our customers, with the development of a brand new terminal and berths at the Port of Immingham.”

He added: “Stena Line is pledging a significant long-term commitment that will bring a substantial boost to the region’s economy in terms of jobs and revenue.”

ABP has already commenced the planning submission process for the new terminal facilities, which it hopes to become operational in 2025.

Simon Bird, Humber Director for Associated British Ports, said: “We’re delighted to welcome this new deal with Stena as it underlines the fact that ABP in the Humber is continuing to go from strength to strength.

"Stena will be joining a growing family of commercial partners who are choosing to use ABP’s ports in the Humber which have fantastic facilities and connections for traders across Europe and beyond.

"Our track record in recent years of investing in new infrastructure is making the Humber the place to be for trading links between the North of England, and the rest of the world.”