Port operating company DP World has invested £15m (US$18.4m) in a 7,500m2 site to create a truck driver facility next to its Southampton container terminal in the UK.
The new site, which was previously used for car storage and is expected to be fully operational in 2023, has been leased from Port of Southampton owner ABP. The project is intended to deliver driver welfare facilities – including a restaurant, showers, toilets and 24-hour security. It will also increase the size of the storage area used for containers moved by road and rail.
DP World is developing the facility to build on the £40m (US$49.2m) that it has invested in its operations at Southampton since 2021. Over the last 10 years, DP World has invested £2bn (US$2.46bn) in the UK. Another £1bn (US$1.23bn) of investment has been earmarked for the UK over the next 10 years, making this country the company’s largest investment outside the Middle East.
The company has also purchased a £350m (US$430m) fourth berth at London Gateway, which is under construction. According to the company, the construction project is supporting 1,000 jobs and, when it opens in 2024, the facility will lift capacity by a third. Additionally, the port-centric logistics park will employ a further 12,000 people when it is completed in five years’ time.
Ernst Schulze, UK chief executive at DP World, said, “We are delighted to announce this major step forward in the facilities we provide for drivers at Southampton, which will help to ensure that they are fit and rested to keep the supply chain moving. The overnight lorry park will provide access to amenities they need to do their jobs safely and well.”
“The new land will also free up valuable storage space to expand further our rail interconnectivity. Our investment in rail at both Southampton and London Gateway eases congestion on the roads, with 300,000 trucks taken off UK roads each year. Last year we launched a new intermodal train service connecting our logistics hubs at London Gateway and Southampton, as we continue to build our end-to-end capability.”
Alastair Welch, regional director of ABP Southampton, said, “As the UK’s leading export port, Southampton plays a key role in keeping Britain trading. This new facility will significantly improve driver welfare as well as reducing the number of vehicles having to park up for rest periods elsewhere in the local area.”